Vol. 8, No. 2, 114-139, 2009

Time-series analysis of remotely-sensed SeaWiFS chlorophyll in river-influenced coastal regions
James G. Acker, Erin McMahon, Suhung Shen, Thomas Hearty and Nancy Casey

The availability of a nearly-continuous record of remotely-sensed chlorophyll a data (chl a) from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) mission, now longer than ten years, enables examination of time-series trends for multiple global locations. Innovative data analysis technology available on the World Wide Web facilitates such analyses. In coastal regions influenced by river outflows, chl a is not always indicative of actual trends in phytoplankton chlorophyll due to the interference of coloured dissolved organic matter and suspended sediments; significant chl a time-series trends for coastal regions influenced by river outflows may nonetheless be indicative of important alterations of the hydrologic and coastal environment. Chl a time-series analysis of nine marine regions influenced by river outflows demonstrates the simplicity and usefulness of this technique. The analyses indicate that coastal time-series are significantly influenced by unusual flood events. Major river systems in regions with relatively low human impact did not exhibit significant trends. Most river systems with demonstrated human impact exhibited significant negative trends, with the noteworthy exception of the Pearl River in China, which has a positive trend.

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Submitted: 4 Feb 2009
Revised: 20 Oct 2009
Accepted: 21 Oct 2009
Published: 11 Nov 2009
Responsible editor: Rainer Reuter

Acker J G, E McMahon, S Shen, T Hearty & N Casey, 2009. Time-series analysis of remotely-sensed SeaWiFS chlorophyll in river-influenced coastal regions. EARSeL eProceedings, 8(2): 114-139


EARSeL European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories, Strasbourg, France


BIS Library and Information System, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg


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