Table of Contents
International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2011, Article ID 172731, 16 pages
Research Article

Remote-Sensing-Based Estimation of Surface Nitrate and Its Variability in the Southern Peninsular Indian Waters

Marine Geo and Planetary Sciences Group, Space Applications Centre (ISRO), Ahmedabad 380 015, India

Received 21 May 2011; Accepted 14 October 2011

Academic Editor: Walker Smith

Copyright © 2011 R. K. Sarangi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A relationship between sea surface temperature (SST) and surface nitrate concentrations has been obtained for the first time based on in situ datasets retrieved from U.S. JGOFS (1991–96) and Indian cruises (2000–2006) in the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean region around the southern Indian tip. The dataset includes 1537 points. A sigmoid relationship obtained with 𝑅 2 value 0.912. NOAA-AVHRR pathfinder satellite monthly averaged SST data retrieved from the PODAAC/JPL/NASA archive during July 1999–June 2004. The datasets imported in the ERDAS-Imagine software and SST images generated on monthly and seasonal scales, for latitudes 5–12°N and longitudes 75–85°E. The ocean surface nitrate images retrieved based on the established sigmoid relationship with SST. The nitrate concentrations ranged between 0.01–3.0 μM and categorized into five ranges. The significant seasonal upwelling zone around the southwest coast of India (Kerala coast, Latitude 80.10–9.30°N and Longitude 75.60–76.20°E) was identified during July–September 1999–2004 with very high nitrate concentration (~1.00 μM). Low nitrate and nitrate-depleted zones observed during summer (March–May). In the Arabian Sea and northern Indian Ocean, high nitrate concentration (~0.50 μM) observed during the southwest monsoon (SWM), whereas the Bay of Bengal was marked with high nitrate (~0.50 μM) during the northeast monsoon (NEM). SST was high (~29°C) in the Bay of Bengal and low (~26°C) in the Arabian Sea and northern Indian Ocean during SWM and vice versa during the NEM. There is a clear inverse relationship between nitrate and SST in the study area during July 1999–June 2004.