Ocean Sci. Discuss., 8, 55-84, 2011
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in OS.
Multifractal analysis of oceanic chlorophyll maps remotely sensed from space
L. de Montera1, M. Jouini1, S. Verrier2, S. Thiria1, and M. Crepon1
1Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat, Expérimentation et Approches Numériques, UMR 7159, Paris, France
2Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales, UMR 8190, Guyancourt, France

Abstract. Phytoplankton patchiness has been investigated with multifractal analysis techniques. We analyzed oceanic chlorophyll maps, measured by the SeaWiFS orbiting sensor, which are considered to be good proxies for phytoplankton. Multifractal properties are observed, from the sub-mesoscale up to the mesoscale, and are found to be consistent with the Corssin-Obukhov scale law of passive scalars. This result indicates that, within this scale range, turbulent mixing would be the dominant effect leading to the observed variability of phytoplankton fields. Finally, it is shown that multifractal patchiness can be responsible for significant biases in the nonlinear source and sink terms involved in biogeochemical numerical models.

Citation: de Montera, L., Jouini, M., Verrier, S., Thiria, S., and Crepon, M.: Multifractal analysis of oceanic chlorophyll maps remotely sensed from space, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 8, 55-84, doi:10.5194/osd-8-55-2011, 2011.
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