Estimating Oceanic Primary Production Using Vertical Irradiance and Chlorophyll Profiles from Ocean Gliders in the North Atlantic

Primary production from Glider (black line), satellite (red dia- monds) and in situ 13C (blue circles)


An autonomous underwater vehicle (Seaglider) has been used to estimate marine primary production (PP) using a combination of irradiance and fluorescence vertical profiles. This method provides estimates for depth-resolved and temporally evolving PP on fine spatial scales in the absence of ship-based calibrations. We describe techniques to correct for known issues associated with long autonomous deployments such as sensor calibration drift and fluorescence quenching. Comparisons were made between the Seaglider, stable isotope (13C) and satellite estimates of PP. The Seaglider-based PP estimates were comparable to both satellite estimates and stable isotope measurements.

Environmental Science Technology
Eleanor Frajka-Williams
Eleanor Frajka-Williams
Professor of Ocean Dynamics in a Changing Climate

I am a physical oceanographer who uses ocean observations to investigate ocean dynamics and circulation in a changing climate. I have a particular interest in problems spanning scales (from micro- to large-scale) or spheres (biogeosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere), and in methods that leverage traditional observations with new platforms and satellite data.