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Variations in the light absorption coefficients of phytoplankton, nonalgal particles, and dissolved organic matter in coastal waters around Europe
Babin, M.; Stramski, D.; Ferrari, G.M.; Claustre, H.; Bricaud, A.; Obolensky, G.; Hoepffner, N. (2003). Variations in the light absorption coefficients of phytoplankton, nonalgal particles, and dissolved organic matter in coastal waters around Europe. : 4,1-4,20

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  • Babin, M.
  • Stramski, D.
  • Ferrari, G.M.
  • Claustre, H.
  • Bricaud, A.
  • Obolensky, G.
  • Hoepffner, N.

Abstract
    [i] We measured the absorption properties of phytoplankton, nonalgal particles (NAP), and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) at about 350 stations in various coastal waters around Europe including the English Channel, Adriatic Sea, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and North Sea. For comparison, we also collected data in the open ocean waters of North Atlantic. The exponential slope of the CDOM absorption spectrum varied within a narrow range around 0.0176 nm-1 (SD = 0.0020 nm-1). When data from all the regions were considered altogether, the relationship between phytoplankton absorption and chlorophyll concentration was generally similar to the one previously established for open oceanic waters. Our coastal data, however, show that significant departures from the general trend may occur due to peculiar pigment composition and cell size. In some coastal areas, high phaeopigment concentrations gave rise to especially high blue-to-red ratio of phytoplankton absorption. The NAP absorption covaried with the particle dry weight. Most absorption spectra of these particles were well described by an exponential function with a slope averaging 0.0123 nm-1 (SD = 0.0013 nm-1). In some highly turbid waters, the spectra exhibited a signature possibly associated with iron oxides. In the Baltic Sea, NAP absorption systematically showed lower values at wavelengths shorter than 440 nm than predicted from the fitted exponential function. Overall, the variability in the absorption properties of European coastal waters showed some consistent patterns despite the high diversity of the examined waters. Distinct features were identified in the phytoplankton and NAP components. An absorption budget is presented and parameterizations are proposed.

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