Nansen gjesteforelesning 30.11.2023

Early warning of harmful algal blooms using satellite ocean colour and Lagrangian particle trajectories; and links from ocean fronts to marine biodiversity

Dr. Peter Miller, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK

This talk presents a new technique to improve interpretation of harmful algal bloom (HAB) risk by combining Lagrangian trajectories and satellite observations. The algorithm predicts short term variations in both chlorophyll-a concentration and spectral properties of the water, which are important for discrimination of different algal species from satellite ocean colour. Hydrodynamics are predicted by an operational setup of the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) on an unstructured grid to allow higher resolution around complex coastlines; and ocean colour data are advected hourly by the particle tracking model PyLAG. Unique animations improve interpretation of the development of HABs, and the approach offers a powerful tool for monitoring the marine ecosystem and for supporting the aquaculture industry with improved early warning of potential HABs. We have engaged with shellfish and finfish farms through Interreg Atlantic Area project PRIMROSE and BBSRC project Safe and Sustainable Shellfish.

Fronts – the boundaries between water masses, in coastal and oceanic regions – are hotspots for rich and diverse marine life. This research is based on the composite front map approach, which is to combine the location, strength and persistence of all fronts detected on EO sea-surface temperature (SST) or ocean colour data over several days into a single map, improving interpretation of dynamic mesoscale structures. These techniques are robust and generic, and have been applied to many studies of physical oceanography, marine animal distribution, biodiversity and marine debris.

Hvor og når?

Torsdag, 30.11.23 kl. 10:15 – 11:00.

Copernicus forelesningsrom, 1. etasje, Nansensenteret, Jahnebakken 3, Bergen


Peter Miller is a principal Earth observation scientist with over 25 years’ experience and 100 published papers (H-index of 36). His research on discriminating harmful algal blooms (HABs) using ocean colour data has been developed within 8 European and UK funded projects for monitoring water quality for the protection of aquaculture. He leads the co-design work package of the EC Horizon NextOcean project to develop commercial Earth observation services. He led PML’s involvement in Interreg PRIMROSE, and is a member of the ICES Working Group on HAB Dynamics. He also leads research on ocean fronts, their impact upon animal behaviour and potential modulation by climate change.