NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations

NOAA's Operational Ocean Color Products from the CoastWatch Okeanos Operational Production System

Ocean Color (OC) is the water hue due to the presence of tiny plants containing the pigment chlorophyll, sediments, and colored dissolved organic material (DOM).
Okeanos (Greek god of the great ‘river ocean’ and the waters surrounding the Earth) system is a flexible, expandable software system for generating CoastWatch operational ocean color products.

The NOAA Okeanos system has been providing a series of high quality ocean color operational products in near-real time (NRT) mode from a series of satellite observations such as MODIS and SNPP-VIIRS . The operational products from MODIS/Aqua include chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), remote sensing reflectance (Rrs), water attenuation coefficient (Kd), and chlorophyll-a fronts (Chl-a fronts) in Coastwatch regions. The operational products from SNPP-VIIRS include chl-a, Rrs, Kd, Chl-a fronts, the diffuse attenuation coefficient for photosynthetically active radiation (KdPAR), and true color. An overview on the Okeanos products is given here., and a detailed description of the products (category, coverage, resolution, filename convention format, and file format) is given here . The products have been beneficial in assessing water quality and tracking potentially harmful algal blooms in order to protect public health. For example, the chlorophyll concentration product has been used to understand and predict the harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico by the NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS).

Example time series of daily chlorophyll concentration distribution over Gulf-of-Mexico from May 28, 2013 to June 4, 2013. Each of daily chlorophyll concentration distribution images is generated in the CW Okeanos operational system.