PIC Algorithms

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cassandra21
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PIC Algorithms

by cassandra21 » Fri Jan 20, 2023 2:34 pm America/New_York

Hello everyone,

Usually PIC algorithms are related with coccolitophores. However, some species of zooplankton also incorporate CaCO3 in their skeleton so how can we be sure that the concentrations and/or variability of PIC that we observe in the satellite imagery (MODIS) reflect only phytoplankton (coccoliths) and not other zoo species?

Thank you :-)

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Re: PIC Algorithms

by GES DISC - jimacker » Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:32 pm America/New_York

The PIC algorithms are based on the light scattering properties of coccolithophorids, primarily Emiliania huxleyi. Because of their larger size and generally lower population density in the water column, calcareous zooplankton are unlikely to significantly influence the ocean optical characteristics of surface waters. The PIC algorithm was refined by experiments in which an overpass coincided with the release of chalk from a ship, in experiments called "Chalk-Ex", so the algorithm is specifically attuned to the light scattering and reflective properties of coccolithophorids and coccoliths.

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Re: PIC Algorithms

by cassandra21 » Fri Jul 07, 2023 1:35 pm America/New_York

Thank you so much! This is now a lot more enlightening to me. But I still have a doubt: on my data whenever I have high values of PIC, usually they are associated with low values of chlorophyll a. I see that in different regions of the oceans, namely Azores and Cape Verde, for example. So, shouldn't we expect high values of Chl a in the satellite images when we have a strong bloom of Ehux (high PIC) in the same region?

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Re: PIC Algorithms

by GES DISC - jimacker » Fri Jul 07, 2023 1:46 pm America/New_York

That's a good question. As I recall, the high reflectivity of the coccolithophores makes it difficult to properly estimate chlorophyll in cocco blooms. I think (though I can be corrected) that chl-a processing includes a coccolithophore bloom mask because of that interference. I.e., so much light is being reflected that it's difficult to detect any absorption.

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Re: PIC Algorithms

by cassandra21 » Fri Jul 07, 2023 1:57 pm America/New_York

Thank you so much because this is a doubt we had for some time! If I may ask you one more question: what about the PFT (phytoplankton functional type) products? Does this mean what you said is taken into consideration for deriving the PFT products? And also, I should interpret the chl a product does not represent at all the Ehux?

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Re: PIC Algorithms

by GES DISC - jimacker » Fri Jul 07, 2023 2:07 pm America/New_York

At this point you have gone beyond my basic understanding of the PIC algorithm, so I would recommend further correspondence with the OBDAAC staff. I will add the "OBDAAC" tag to this thread. It is my expectation that the chl-a product does not provide a good estimate of chlorophyll in Ehux.

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Re: PIC Algorithms

by cassandra21 » Fri Jul 07, 2023 2:13 pm America/New_York

Thank you so much for your input! I look forward to hearing some more explanations regarding this issue. Thank you again.

Best Regards

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Re: PIC Algorithms

by GES DISC - jimacker » Fri Jul 07, 2023 2:17 pm America/New_York

By the way, here is the OBDAAC page on the PIC algorithm, if you have not seen it earlier.

https://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/atbd/pic/

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Re: PIC Algorithms

by cassandra21 » Fri Jul 07, 2023 2:23 pm America/New_York

Thank you so much. I will read carefully into it :)

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