Chlorophyll (chl-a) is a plant pigment that is one of the most commonly measured biological properties of the oceans. We use chl-a to quantify the abundance or biomass of phytoplankton, and chl-a is also an essential ingredient used to estimate primary productivity. Ocean color measurements of chl-a in the oceans rely on the absorption of light by this pigment and how that absorption affects light that leaves the ocean and can be measured remotely – from satellites and aircraft instruments. Imagery presented on this web site comes from aircraft overflights using instruments described in the Overview. The data set now covers >24 years for the main stem of the Bay and eight years for two contrasting tributaries, the Choptank and Patuxent Rivers.
Main Area of the Bay
The images contained in this section of the CBRSP web site are visualizations of surface chlorophyll (mg m-3) and sea surface temperatures (oC) from data collected on main Bay flights. The images span from 1989 to 2013 for chlorophyll and from 2000 to 2013 for temperature.