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Zimmerman is CCPO Speaker on Remote Sensing in Coastal Ocean

Richard Zimmerman, chair of the Old Dominion University Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, will discuss his new research methods to help measure plankton and other particles in coastal waters at a Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography (CCPO) seminar Monday, Nov. 22.

The seminar, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Room 3200 of the Research Innovation Building 1 in ODU's University Village. A reception with refreshments will begin at 3.

Zimmerman's research specialties include the use of remote sensing technology to understand biogeochemical processes of the ocean. Remote sensing by satellites, for example, allows the use of ocean color to quantify horizontal patterns of algal distribution across the ocean surface.

In shallower coastal waters, however, the color of the water detected from above may not tell the full story. Significant amounts of biomass may be below the surface, meaning that horizontal patterns detected at the water's surface would not reveal total biomass present.

Zimmerman is adapting LIDAR (light detection and ranging) instrumentation to do vertical scans of the water column. "We developed a simple two-flow radiative transfer model of LIDAR propagation through an optically active water column that can be inverted to retrieve the vertical distribution of inherent and apparent optical properties, and the distribution of particles throughout the euphotic zone," he wrote in the abstract for his presentation.

This work is expected to enhance the ability of scientists to assess the accuracy of biogechemical models developed for coastal systems.

This article was posted on: November 16, 2010

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