Table of Contents
International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2014, Article ID 384618, 13 pages
Research Article

Bio-Optical Characteristics of the Northern Gulf of California during June 2008

1Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, INVEMAR, Santa Marta, Colombia
2Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, BC. Carr. Tijuana-Ensenada Km 103, 22800 Ensenada, BC, Mexico
3Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC, San Diego, CA 92037, USA

Received 30 June 2014; Accepted 13 October 2014; Published 7 December 2014

Academic Editor: Heinrich Hühnerfuss

Copyright © 2014 Martha Bastidas-Salamanca et al. 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.


Bio-optical variables in the Northern Gulf of California were analyzed using in situ and satellite data obtained during a cruise in June 2008. The study area was divided into three bio-optical regions: Upper Gulf (UG), Northern Gulf (NG), and Great Isles (GI). Each region was characterized according to phytoplankton pigment concentration, phytoplankton and nonpigmented material spectral absorption coefficients, and spectral reflectance. Observed patterns were an indication of the shift in bio-optical conditions from north to south going from turbid and eutrophic waters to mesotrophic ones. Although there was a good agreement between satellite and in situ Chla (RMSE ±33%), an overestimation of in situ Chla was observed. This was partly explained by the presence of nonalgal particles, as well as the influence of desert and continental aerosols, which is generally overcorrected in the standard processing. The UG and NG could be considered as Case  2 waters, but they did exhibit different bio-optical characteristics. This implies that both biological and optical properties should be invoked to better understand water reflectance variability in the study region and its implications for the remote sensing of Chla and biogeochemical processes.