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A comparison of remote-sensing SST and in situ seawater temperature in near-shore habitats in the western Mediterranean Sea

A comparison of remote-sensing SST and in situ seawater temperature in near-shore habitats in the western Mediterranean Sea
A comparison of remote-sensing SST and in situ seawater temperature in near-shore habitats in the western Mediterranean Sea
Remote sensing of sea surface temperature (SST) is widely used in climate science because it provides a quasi-synoptic coverage of the ocean. However, the use of these data for near-shore habitats is hindered by the proximity of the coast, therefore further investigation is needed. We compared remote-sensing SST from the MODIS sensor (aboard the Aqua satellite) to near-shore seawater temperature (ST) recorded in situ with data loggers at 5 locations in the western Mediterranean Sea. In situ ST data were collected at 5 m depth over a ~6 yr period and at depths below 5 m at 3 of the locations. We evaluated the suitability of MODIS to represent the temperature at shallow subtidal depths relative to different modes of variability. MODIS reproduced seasonal variability with high correlations (r > 0.98) and biases (0.59 ± 0.03°C) only slightly higher than the accuracy of the loggers (0.50°C). MODIS also captured interannual variability with no systematic biases. When evaluated for intra-seasonal temperature variability, MODIS showed limited biases (up to 0.79°C) with a tendency to overestimate the variability (between 4 and 64%) in both cold and warm seasons. Finally, MODIS over-/underestimated only the most extreme unseasonably cold/warm events (by 1.51 and -0.79°C, respectively). The observed limited differences between the 2 methods can be explained by the particular hydrodynamics of the area and by methodological constraints. Overall, MODIS SST data proved to be a reliable proxy for near-shore ST in the western Mediterranean Sea, and are thus considered suitable for studies requiring temperature reconstruction in shallow near-shore environments.
MODIS-Aqua, Seawater temperature, Shallow-water ecosystems, Near-shore ecology, Mediterranean Sea, Balearic Sea
21-34
Bernardello, Raffaele
a252abfc-4c78-4cdb-98ff-4befe0366c08
Serrano, Eduard
92702da7-9ad2-4b2a-8d12-a1d4e4792049
Coma, Rafel
d6686ab6-b5e8-4eb1-8fb5-5049b5c91c90
Ribes, Marta
e2a5ee19-8d0a-4a4f-9296-535f0dc69c36
Bahamon, Nixon
1b5ee61f-4d64-4484-8ce6-33efef9bf856
Bernardello, Raffaele
a252abfc-4c78-4cdb-98ff-4befe0366c08
Serrano, Eduard
92702da7-9ad2-4b2a-8d12-a1d4e4792049
Coma, Rafel
d6686ab6-b5e8-4eb1-8fb5-5049b5c91c90
Ribes, Marta
e2a5ee19-8d0a-4a4f-9296-535f0dc69c36
Bahamon, Nixon
1b5ee61f-4d64-4484-8ce6-33efef9bf856

Bernardello, Raffaele, Serrano, Eduard, Coma, Rafel, Ribes, Marta and Bahamon, Nixon (2016) A comparison of remote-sensing SST and in situ seawater temperature in near-shore habitats in the western Mediterranean Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 559, 21-34. (doi:10.3354/meps11896).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Remote sensing of sea surface temperature (SST) is widely used in climate science because it provides a quasi-synoptic coverage of the ocean. However, the use of these data for near-shore habitats is hindered by the proximity of the coast, therefore further investigation is needed. We compared remote-sensing SST from the MODIS sensor (aboard the Aqua satellite) to near-shore seawater temperature (ST) recorded in situ with data loggers at 5 locations in the western Mediterranean Sea. In situ ST data were collected at 5 m depth over a ~6 yr period and at depths below 5 m at 3 of the locations. We evaluated the suitability of MODIS to represent the temperature at shallow subtidal depths relative to different modes of variability. MODIS reproduced seasonal variability with high correlations (r > 0.98) and biases (0.59 ± 0.03°C) only slightly higher than the accuracy of the loggers (0.50°C). MODIS also captured interannual variability with no systematic biases. When evaluated for intra-seasonal temperature variability, MODIS showed limited biases (up to 0.79°C) with a tendency to overestimate the variability (between 4 and 64%) in both cold and warm seasons. Finally, MODIS over-/underestimated only the most extreme unseasonably cold/warm events (by 1.51 and -0.79°C, respectively). The observed limited differences between the 2 methods can be explained by the particular hydrodynamics of the area and by methodological constraints. Overall, MODIS SST data proved to be a reliable proxy for near-shore ST in the western Mediterranean Sea, and are thus considered suitable for studies requiring temperature reconstruction in shallow near-shore environments.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 September 2016
Published date: 9 November 2016
Keywords: MODIS-Aqua, Seawater temperature, Shallow-water ecosystems, Near-shore ecology, Mediterranean Sea, Balearic Sea
Organisations: Marine Biogeochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 403816
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/403816
PURE UUID: f9425ee7-e0ca-4eb2-a808-3513027ebed8

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Date deposited: 12 Dec 2016 13:29
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:50

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Contributors

Author: Raffaele Bernardello
Author: Eduard Serrano
Author: Rafel Coma
Author: Marta Ribes
Author: Nixon Bahamon

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