Articles | Volume 9, issue 2
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 861–880, 2017
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 861–880, 2017

Review article 22 Nov 2017

Review article | 22 Nov 2017

Two databases derived from BGC-Argo float measurements for marine biogeochemical and bio-optical applications

Emanuele Organelli1,2, Marie Barbieux1, Hervé Claustre1, Catherine Schmechtig3, Antoine Poteau1, Annick Bricaud1, Emmanuel Boss4, Nathan Briggs1, Giorgio Dall'Olmo2,5, Fabrizio D'Ortenzio1, Edouard Leymarie1, Antoine Mangin6, Grigor Obolensky7, Christophe Penkerc'h1, Louis Prieur1, Collin Roesler8, Romain Serra6, Julia Uitz1, and Xiaogang Xing9 Emanuele Organelli et al.
  • 1Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, CNRS, UMR 7093, Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV), 181 Chemin du Lazaret, 06230 Villefranche-sur-mer, France
  • 2Plymouth Marine Laboratory, PL1 3DH Plymouth, UK
  • 3Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Université Paris 06, CNRS, UMS 3455, OSU Ecce-Terra, Paris, France
  • 4School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, USA
  • 5National Centre for Earth Observation, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, PL1 3DH Plymouth, UK
  • 6ACRI-ST, 260 route du Pin Montard, 06904 Sophia-Antipolis, France
  • 7ERIC Euro-Argo, 29280 Plouzané, France
  • 8Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, USA
  • 9State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, 310012, China

Abstract. Since 2012, an array of 105 Biogeochemical-Argo (BGC-Argo) floats has been deployed across the world's oceans to assist in filling observational gaps that are required for characterizing open-ocean environments. Profiles of biogeochemical (chlorophyll and dissolved organic matter) and optical (single-wavelength particulate optical backscattering, downward irradiance at three wavelengths, and photosynthetically available radiation) variables are collected in the upper 1000 m every 1 to 10 days. The database of 9837 vertical profiles collected up to January 2016 is presented and its spatial and temporal coverage is discussed. Each variable is quality controlled with specifically developed procedures and its time series is quality-assessed to identify issues related to biofouling and/or instrument drift. A second database of 5748 profile-derived products within the first optical depth (i.e., the layer of interest for satellite remote sensing) is also presented and its spatiotemporal distribution discussed. This database, devoted to field and remote ocean color applications, includes diffuse attenuation coefficients for downward irradiance at three narrow wavebands and one broad waveband (photosynthetically available radiation), calibrated chlorophyll and fluorescent dissolved organic matter concentrations, and single-wavelength particulate optical backscattering. To demonstrate the applicability of these databases, data within the first optical depth are compared with previously established bio-optical models and used to validate remotely derived bio-optical products. The quality-controlled databases are publicly available from the SEANOE (SEA scieNtific Open data Edition) publisher at and for vertical profiles and products within the first optical depth, respectively.

Short summary
Autonomous robotic platforms such as Biogeochemical-Argo floats allow observation of the ocean, from the surface to the interior, in a new and systematic way. A fleet of 105 of these platforms have collected several biological, biogeochemical, and optical variables in still unexplored regions. The quality-controlled databases presented here will enable scientists to improve knowledge on the functioning of marine ecosystems and investigate the climatic implications.