Lee, D; Son, S; Joo, H; Kim, K; Kim, MJ; Jang, HK; Yun, MS; Kang, CK; Lee, SH (2020). Estimation of the Particulate Organic Carbon to Chlorophyll-a Ratio Using MODIS-Aqua in the East/Japan Sea, South Korea. REMOTE SENSING, 12(5), 840.

In recent years, the change of marine environment due to climate change and declining primary productivity have been big concerns in the East/Japan Sea, Korea. However, the main causes for the recent changes are still not revealed clearly. The particulate organic carbon (POC) to chlorophyll-a (chl-a) ratio (POC:chl-a) could be a useful indicator for ecological and physiological conditions of phytoplankton communities and thus help us to understand the recent reduction of primary productivity in the East/Japan Sea. To derive the POC in the East/Japan Sea from a satellite dataset, the new regional POC algorithm was empirically derived with in-situ measured POC concentrations. A strong positive linear relationship (R-2 = 0.6579) was observed between the estimated and in-situ measured POC concentrations. Our new POC algorithm proved a better performance in the East/Japan Sea compared to the previous one for the global ocean. Based on the new algorithm, long-term POC:chl-a ratios were obtained in the entire East/Japan Sea from 2003 to 2018. The POC:chl-a showed a strong seasonal variability in the East/Japan Sea. The spring and fall blooms of phytoplankton mainly driven by the growth of large diatoms seem to be a major factor for the seasonal variability in the POC:chl-a. Our new regional POC algorithm modified for the East/Japan Sea could potentially contribute to long-term monitoring for the climate-associated ecosystem changes in the East/Japan Sea. Although the new regional POC algorithm shows a good correspondence with in-situ observed POC concentrations, the algorithm should be further improved with continuous field surveys.