Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exploring Ocean Life and Color on the Internet

15.12.2004


A new NASA Internet tool called "Giovanni" allows high school and college students and researchers to access and analyze satellite-derived ocean color data. Ocean color data provides students with information about ocean biology by looking at phytoplankton through changes in the color of the ocean surface.



"Ocean color" refers primarily to the measurement of the green pigment called chlorophyll, which is contained in phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are free-floating plants that are the foundation of the ocean’s food chain.

Giovanni stands for the "Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure." NASA recently released three Giovanni tutorials demonstrating how students can conduct research with ocean color data. Use of such technical information was previously only possible for experienced scientists with advanced computer systems.


Scientists and software developers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md., designed Giovanni. The initial release of this Web tool allows users to see ocean color data from the SeaWiFS satellite. Data from other ocean color missions will be added, including data from NASA’s Aqua satellite. Giovanni development is part of the Ocean Color Time-Series Project, headed by Dr. Watson Gregg, a NASA GSFC oceanographer.

Dr. James Acker of the GES DISC Oceans Data Team created three tutorials geared for high school and college level students. These tutorials help students identify research questions that can be answered with ocean color data.

"In creating these tutorials, I discovered features in the data that were a complete surprise," Acker said. "The tutorials show how to use Giovanni, and how students can use it to make new discoveries, potentially contributing to ocean science."

In the first tutorial, Dr. Acker looked at the chlorophyll patterns in the Gulf of Panama to see if they were influenced by El Nino/La Nina events. The Gulf of Panama has a strong seasonal pattern caused by strong winds that blow through the Panama Canal Zone in winter. The winds mix nutrients from deeper waters to the surface, and the nutrients promote phytoplankton growth. The strong 1997-1998 El Nino reduced the productivity, or how much phytoplankton grow in this region, as expected.

In the summer of 2001, however, there were short bursts of higher productivity not seen in other years. This unusual pattern may have been an early indicator of how the Gulf of Panama changed before the moderate El Nino event that occurred in 2002-2003.

The second tutorial investigated seasonal patterns of productivity in the Red Sea. There were two seasonal patterns in the Red Sea, one in the north and another in the south. Though these patterns are familiar to oceanographers, Giovanni provided another surprise. "I saw a very small area of relatively high chlorophyll concentrations near the Egyptian coast," Acker said. "At first it looked like a small river was entering the Red Sea. But there aren’t any rivers in this part of the desert." Further investigation indicated that this area was associated with a large coral reef complex on the Red Sea coast. A third tutorial examines the California coast near Monterey Bay, and discusses the influence of clouds on the data.

In the past, researchers had to download data files and analyze them on their own computing systems, a difficult and time-consuming process. Giovanni is one of the first demonstrations of new technology that will be improved in the future, making it much easier to use the data, including the multi-decade data sets that the Ocean Color Time-Series Project will create.

Cynthia O’Carroll | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/everydaylife/giovanni.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice
24.04.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Climate change in a warmer-than-modern world: New findings of Kiel Researchers
24.04.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>