Limitations on relating ocean surface chlorophyll to productivity

Tyler Volk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An important potential use of ocean color chlorophyll data is to determine other important properties of the marine biosphere, such as primary productivity, new production, and particulate fluxes at spatial scales larger and temporal scales longer than those possible with ground-based observations. Such determinations will likely progress from relatively simple empirical correlations to algorithms that are actually predictive models of ecosystem dynamics. As an exmaple, this paper demonstrates how an empirical correlation between nitrate concentration and new production can be understood by a simple productivity model. Several models are then constructed to examine the functional relationship between total production and surface chlorophyll. The empirical correlation is substantially different than the analogous relation in the model. Understanding the relationship between surface chlorophyll and productivity on a global scale will probably require families of models for various marine ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Limitations on relating ocean surface chlorophyll to productivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this