BackgroundBlooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, formerly Gymnodinium breve , occur periodically in the Gulf of Mexico. These blooms, included in a category of biological events often referred to as "red tides" because their presence discolors the water a reddish-brown hue, pose a significant risk to human health and detrimentally affect regional economies and marine resources. Identification of these blooms and monitoring their presence would provide vital information to alleviate the impact of these financially debilitating and potentially life-threatening events. The use of satellite ocean color imagery, with its synoptic and repeated coverage, offers the potential to detect and monitor these biological events at appropriate spatial and time scales.
An empirical, multispectral classification algorithm was employed to detect potential K. brevis blooms in ocean color data of the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) in the Gulf of Mexico. For additional background and details of the classification algorithm, click here.
The classification algorithm used to identify these blooms is still being tested and refined.
Most Recent Weekly Composite
Derived from SeaWiFS Data
Data Courtesy of SeaWiFS Project
Dec 25-Dec 18, 2004