Site 9.

Puerto Rico




Site 12.

Great Barrier Reef


DUE CoastColour
Technical Note
CoastColour in-situ database


CoastColour In-Situ Database

Following the User Consultation Meeting 2 held in Frascati, between the 17-19 October 2010, many users decided to provide in-situ data from their site to the CoastColour team.

In-situ data play an essential role within the project, as they are needed to (1) develop regionally adapted algorithms and/or (2) validate these algorithms. The champion users have made available to the project a large amount and variety of physical and biological data. After a critical quality check and harmonisation of the data, they now form a comprehensive data base compiling a total of 1,293,396 measurement records for 19 of the 27 CoastColour sites to date. This database provides information about metadata, radiometry, inherent optical properties (IOPs) of the water body and biochemical optical data.

A short summary of the most relevant parameters and their availability per test site is given in Table 1. Besides acquisition time and geo-location, which are preliminary information for the usability of the data, the most frequently measured parameters are water depth, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a (chl_a), the dissolved material absorption coefficient at different wavelengths ag(λ), total suspended matter TSM, spectral downwelling attenuation coefficient kd(λ), water leaving radiance Lw(λ) and remote sensing reflectance Rrs(λ) at different wavelengths λ.


Table 1: Availability of selected in situ measured parameters per test site (click on the picture to enlarge PDF).

The number of available data per test site varies strongly. For the North Sea thousands of Ferry-box records are included in the database, whereas for other sides only very few measurement records have been taken for a specific parameter.

Table 2 provides an overview of statistical values (min, max, mean, standard division) of selected parameters as they have been measured and made available to the project by users. Some of these measurements seem contradictory, as for example a site shows high Secchi Depth values but also high TSM concentrations. It is important to note here that different parameters have not necessarily been recorded at the same time and that the measurement records only reflect a specific situation on a specific date. So this limited number of measurement values cannot be understood as fully characterising the corresponding test sites.


Table 2: Statistical values of selected in situ measured parameters per test site (click on the picture to enlarge PDF).

Statistical values table, click on the picture to enlarge PDF


We thank the CoastColour users for the contribution of in situ data for the specific sites. The following Data Provider (DPs) contributed to the CoastColour dataset: 


Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO)

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Center for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)

French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER)

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR)

Helmholtz Center Geesthacht, Institute of Coastal Research, Germany (HZG)

Institute for Computational Earth System Science, University of California at Santa Barbara (ICESS UCSB)

International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI)

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW)

Marine Institute (Ireland) (MII)

Mississippi State University (MSU)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)

National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)

University of Cantabria (UNICAN)

National Institute of Oceanography & Fisheries (NIOF)

Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucia (CSIC)

Department of Geography & Geology, University of Copenhagen (GRAS)

College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences of Oregon State University (COAS OSU)