In situ optical and biogeochemical in- and above-water measurements are critical for calibration and validation of satellite ocean colour radiometry data products, and for refinement of ocean colour algorithms. During the SeaWiFS era, NASA commissioned the development of a series of ocean optical measurement protocols (see NASA Ocean Optics Protocols for Satellite Ocean Color Sensor Validation) which have served as international reference standards ever since, and have promoted the collection and assembly of climate quality, ocean optical datasets by the global ocean colour community. Since publication of the last revision in 2004, there have been major advances in instrumentation and observing capability, so these community-vetted protocols are being revised to account for new, emerging, and planned capabilities and modes of deployment.
Over the past few years NASA has sponsored several international workshops with experts (including breakout workshops at the International Ocean Colour Science meetings), to update and develop new community consensus protocols for ocean colour sensor validation. The newly drafted protocols will be made available to the international user community on this webpage for a period of time for testing, public comment and review, before they are accepted as international reference standards. Once accepted, the protocols will receive a publication date and version number (e.g., v1.0), and will also have a digital object identifier (doi) provided by OceanBestPractices. These revised protocols will be revisited periodically to determine if enough changes have taken place to warrant a significant update, in which case a new version number will be assigned.
IOCCG Ocean Optics & Biogeochemistry Protocols for Satellite Ocean Colour Sensor Validation
Correct citation for this volume:
IOCCG Protocol Series (2018). Inherent Optical Property Measurements and Protocols: Absorption Coefficient, Neeley, A. R. and Mannino, A. (eds.), IOCCG Ocean Optics and Biogeochemistry Protocols for Satellite Ocean Colour Sensor Validation, Volume 1.0, IOCCG, Dartmouth, NS, Canada. http://dx.doi.org/10.25607/OBP-119
Download file: Inherent Optical Property Measurements and Protocols: Absorption Coefficient (v1.0, November 2018)
Inherent Optical Properties Measurements and Protocols: Absorption Coefficient (v1.0) is a document that serves as a comprehensive overview of calibration, measurement and analysis protocols for the state-of-the-art technologies that measure the absorption of particles in the water or on a filter pad. Chapter 1 provides a detailed overview of the absorption coefficient of pure water, colored dissolved matter and particles along with the current state-of-the-art pure water absorption coefficients, uncertainties and temperature and salinity corrections. Chapters 2–4 provide detailed protocols for measuring particles in suspension using the reflective tube absorption meter, the integrating cavity absorption meter, and the point-source integrating cavity absorption meter. Lastly, Chapter 5 describes the most up-to-date methods for the measurement of absorbance and the computation of absorption for particles on a filter pad using the transmittance method, transmittance method with fiber optics, the transmittance-reflectance method and inside an integrating sphere. Chapters 1, 2, and 5 represent updated versions of those found in Ocean Optics Protocols for Satellite Ocean Color Sensor Validation Revision 4, Volume IV (Mitchell et al. 2002). Chapters 3 and 4 are new contributions to the protocol.
Correct citation for this volume:
IOCCG Protocol Series (2019). Beam Transmission and Attenuation Coefficients: Instruments, Characterization, Field Measurements and Data Analysis Protocols. Boss, E., Twardowski, M., McKee, D., Cetinić, I. and Slade, W. IOCCG Ocean Optics and Biogeochemistry Protocols for Satellite Ocean Colour Sensor Validation, Volume 2.0, edited by A. Neeley and I. Cetinić, IOCCG, Dartmouth, NS, Canada. http://dx.doi.org/10.25607/OBP-458
Inherent Optical Properties Measurements and Protocols: Beam Transmission and Attenuation (v2.0) is a document that serves as a comprehensive overview of beam transmittance concepts and the calibration, measurement and analysis protocols for the state-of-the-art technologies that measure the attenuation of dissolved and particulate matter in water. Section 1 provides a detailed overview of measurement concepts and governing equations to derive the beam attenuation coefficient. Section 2 details the design characteristics of common transmissometers. Section 3 describes methods for the characterization and calibration of beam transmissometers. Lastly, this document provides detailed data collection and analysis methods in Sections 4 and 5. This protocol document serves as an updated version of Chapter 2 in Ocean Optics Protocols for Satellite Ocean Color Sensor Validation Revision 4, Volume IV (Pegau et al. 2003).
Correct citation for this volume:
IOCCG Protocol Series (2019). Protocols for Satellite Ocean Colour Data Validation: In Situ Optical Radiometry. Zibordi, G., Voss, K. J., Johnson, B. C. and Mueller, J. L. IOCCG Ocean Optics and Biogeochemistry Protocols for Satellite Ocean Colour Sensor Validation, Volume 3.0, IOCCG, Dartmouth, NS, Canada.
Request hardcopy of In Situ Optical Radiometry protocols (Vol. 3.0)
This protocol document aims to support the ocean color community with protocols for the collection, processing and quality assurance of in situ measurements of the apparent optical properties of natural water for the validation of satellite radiometric products. In addition to a general introduction on Elements of Marine Optical Radiometry Data and Analysis (Chapter 1), the document addresses Radiometers Specifications (Chapter 2), Calibration and Characterization of Optical Radiometers (Chapter 3), In-water Radiometry Measurements and Data Analysis (Chapter 4), and Above-water Radiometry Measurements and Data Analysis (Chapter 5).
The overall structure and content of the various chapters are based on, and benefit from, the Ocean Optics Protocols promoted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration within the framework of the Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) and Sensor Intercomparison for Marine Biological and Interdisciplinary Ocean Studies (SIMBIOS) programs (Mueller and Austin 1995, Mueller et al. 2003a, Mueller et al. 2003b).
It is emphasized that, by recognizing optical radiometry can be heavily affected by the presence of clouds which will unavoidably challenge the quantification of measurement uncertainties, the protocols put emphasis only on measurements performed during clear sky conditions, which are those relevant for the validation of satellite ocean color data products.
Finally, it is anticipated that the chapters on in-water and above-water radiometry provide comprehensive details on those measurement methods sharing large consensus inside the community and whose application is strongly encouraged. Conversely, brief summaries are only provided for those methods already well represented by the previous ones or for those methods that may exhibit difficult implementation in a variety of measurement conditions.
Correct citation for this volume:
IOCCG Protocol Series (2019). Inherent Optical Property Measurements and Protocols: Best Practices for the Collection and Processing of Ship-Based Underway Flow-Through Optical Data. Boss, E., Haëntjens, N., Ackleson, S., Balch, B., Chase, A., Dall’Olmo, G., Freeman, S., Liu, Y., Loftin, J., Neary, W., Nelson, N., Novak, M., Slade, W., Proctor, C., Tortell, P., and Westberry. T. IOCCG Ocean Optics and Biogeochemistry Protocols for Satellite Ocean Colour Sensor Validation, Volume 4.0, edited by A. R. Neeley and A. Mannino, IOCCG, Dartmouth, NS, Canada.
Optical data can be collected using the flow-through systems installed on research vessels and ships of opportunity to take advantage of the availability of sea water pumped into the vessel. These “in-line” or “underway” systems are able to provide data at spatial resolutions on the order of 10-100 m. As the number of research groups making these measurements grows, there is a need to provide coordinated data collection and processing protocols to standardize methodology and data quality. In 2015, a NASA-sponsored workshop was organized to share such knowledge. Here, we discuss the essential issues associated with in-line data collection, provide recommendations on best practices for collection and processing and report on available software.
A draft version of the protocol entitled “Measurement Protocol of Absorption by Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) and Other Dissolved Materials“, is available.
Summary: Measuring light absorption by CDOM in situ is necessary for developing and validating current and future ocean color algorithms. A CDOM Working Group has revised this section of the NASA ocean optics protocols (Mitchell et al. 2003) under the auspices of the IOCCG to reflect the development of new instrumentation and a greater understanding of the importance of CDOM and its distribution in coastal and open ocean waters over the past twenty years. Our goal here is to describe a set of procedures that will be adhered to by the scientific community for making CDOM absorption measurements that can be integrated into bio-optical databases, specifically of sufficient quality to develop and validate ocean color algorithms/products and contribute to CDOM science. The deadline for community feedback closed in late December 2019. The draft version will be revised according to review comments received and will be posted on this site in the near future.
Correct citation for this volume:
IOCCG Protocol Series (2021). Particulate Organic Matter Sampling and Measurement Protocols: Consensus Towards Future Ocean Color Missions. Chaves, J.E., Cetinić, I., Dall’Olmo, G., Estapa, M., Gardner, W., Goñi, M., Graff, J.R., Hernes, P., Lam, P.J., Liu, Z., Lomas, M.W., Mannino, M., Novak, M.G., Turnewitsch, R., Werdell, P.J., Westberry, T.K., IOCCG Ocean Optics and Biogeochemistry Protocols for Satellite Ocean Colour Sensor Validation, Volume 6.0, IOCCG, Dartmouth, NS, Canada.
Download file: Particulate Organic Matter Sampling and Measurement Protocols: Consensus Towards Future Ocean Color Missions. (Vol 6.0, August 2021)
This document is the product of a multi-year effort that started with a two-and-a-half-day workshop organized by the NASA Ocean Ecology Lab Field Support Group and hosted at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from November 30–December 2, 2016. The original objective was to produce community consensus protocols for sample collection, filtration, storage, analysis, and quality assurance for particulate organic carbon in all natural waters, emphasizing marine ecosystems, appropriate for satellite algorithm development and validation. Given the close link between global cycles of carbon and nitrogen and that current analytical protocols usually are geared towards their simultaneous measurement, recommendations for analysis of nitrogen in particles are also included. The hope is that the protocols presented here can be widely adopted by the academic scientific community engaged in aquatic C and N cycle research, particularly in activities that support ocean color validation. The resulting protocol review document: Particulate Organic Matter Sampling and Measurement Protocols: Consensus Towards Future Ocean Color Missions, and the associated workshop activity were sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), including funding for the Field Support Group (NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program) and a ROSES NNH15ZDA001N-TWSC award to Antonio Mannino, Ivona Cetinić, Joaquín Chaves, Michael Novak, and Jeremy Werdell under the NASA Program Topical Workshops, Symposia, and Conferences Program with additional support for contributing authors and workshop participants by their respective institutions. This document provides a detailed discussion of state-of-the-art technologies and protocols for sampling and measuring aquatic particulate organic carbon and particulate nitrogen. Appendix A provides a summary of best practices and recommendations for those developing a research program that includes measurements of POM. Significant contributions by all authors and reviewers made the completion of this document possible. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, processes, or services by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by the authors or their employers.
A draft version of the protocol entitled “Aquatic Primary Productivity Field Protocols for Satellite Validation and Model Synthesis” is now available for comment for a period of ~90 days until 10 November 2021. Please send all comments on this document to Ryan Vandermeulen.
Summary: In 2018, a working group sponsored by the NASA Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) project, in conjunction with the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG), European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), was assembled with the aim to develop community consensus on multiple methods for measuring aquatic primary productivity used for satellite validation and model synthesis. A workshop to commence the working group efforts was held December 05-07, 2018 at the University Space Research Association headquarters in Columbia, MD U.S.A., bringing together 26 active researchers from 16 institutions. In this document, we discuss and develop the findings of the workshop as they pertain to measurements of primary productivity, including the essential issues, nuances, definitions, scales, uncertainties, and ultimately best practices for data collection across multiple methodologies.
This volume entitled “Noteworthy and Supplemental Topics on Ocean Colour Radiometry Protocols“will contain a series of chapters on practical protocols, including measurements on sub-optimal conditions. New chapters will be added periodically, and will explain how to deploy radiometers and process data under various sky and sea states, and in a wide range of water types and bathymetry, including state-of-the-art techniques and instruments.
The first chapter in this volume is the “Skylight-Blocked Approach and Data Processing Scheme” which directly measures Lw for the calculation of remote sensing reflectance (Rrs). Public comment and review for this chapter is now closed. The chapter is currently under review by the Editorial Review Board.