Happy Holidays from the IOCCG

The IOCCG Chairman and the IOCCG Committee extend their best wishes to the ocean-colour community over the festive season.


IOCCG Training Alumni

In an attempt to keep in touch with past IOCCG training course students, we have set up an IOCCG Training Course Alumni webpage with an on-line Questionnaire. We encourage all students who have attended an IOCCG training course at some stage of their career to fill in the on-line questionnaire and tell us what you are up to. For a list of past training courses organized or co-sponsored by the IOCCG see We would like to know where in the world past-IOCCG students are currently working/studying, and learn about their current research interests and future plans. The information will be posted on the IOCCG website so that other past-IOCCG students can keep in touch, and hopefully collaborate.

IOCCG Feature Image

You may have noticed the new "Feature Image" on the IOCCG homepage. We would like to display imagery of interest to the ocean colour community on a regular basis. If you have an impressive ocean colour image that you would like to share with the ocean colour community, please send it to the IOCCG Project Scientist, Venetia Stuart ( along with a short description of the image location and the sensor used to capture the image. Please also include a description of some of the interesting features in the image. This information will be included with the enlarged version of the image. Past feature images will be stored on the IOCCG website under "Ocean Colour Images"

Ocean Colour Cal/Val Workshop

A very successful IOCCG ocean colour Cal/Val workshop was recently hosted by Joint Research Centre (JRC), Italy (21 Oct 2010). The workshop was conducted under the auspices of the Ocean Colour Radiometry-Virtual Constellation (OCR-VC). The group reviewed the current cal/val "best-practices" and made a gap analysis to meet needs of the newly formulated "Integrated Network for Sensor InTercomparison and Uncertainty Assessment for OCR" (INSITU-OCR). Presentations from the workshop are now available on the working group homepage at:

EARSeL Symposium 2011

The European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) will be conducting the 31st EARSeL Symposium, to be held in Prague, Czech Republic (30 May - 2 June 2011). The 5th EARSeL Workshop on Remote Sensing of the Coastal Zone will also take place within the framework of this symposium. The 5th workshop focuses on the impact of our climate on coastal zones and inland waters, on climate change and its expected effects on European seas, and on the role of remote sensing for its study.

EGU General Assembly

A special session on Ocean Remote Sensing (Session OS4.3) is being organized for the 2011 EGU General Assembly by Aida Alvera-Azcárate (University of Liège, Belgium), Guoqi Han (NW Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Canada) and Christine Gommenginger (National Oceanography Centre, UK). The EGU General Assembly will take place in Vienna from 3-8 April 2011. The deadline for abstract submission is 10 January 2011, and abstracts can be submitted directly via the link above.

SPIE Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing Symposium

The SPIE Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing symposium (11-14 October 2010, Incheon, Republic of Korea) brought together policy makers, scientists, and engineers to discuss the development of remote sensing technology, data processing techniques, applications of remote sensing data, and the societal benefits of remote sensing systems in coastal ecosystems of the North East Asia region. One of the sessions focussed on Korea’s Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI). The overall status of the GOCI instrument was positive and very promising. Various sessions focussed on GOCI data processing, algorithm development and validation of products and services. The Korean Ocean Satellite Center developed two new methods for atmospheric correction: the Spectrum Shape Matching Method (SSMM), which provides very stable and more precise values regardless of the optical properties of the water, and the Sun-Glint Correction Algorithm (SGCA) which removes sun-glint and aerosol signals simultaneously.

Several ocean colour algorithms have also been developed for GOCI using in-situ bio-optical data sets. The GOCI Chl-a algorithm could reproduce in-situ chlorophyll concentrations better than standard chlorophyll algorithms, along with a reduction in the average errors. Preliminary validation results of the GOCI data processing software system was also presented (to be distributed to users). Comparisons between GOCI and MODIS satellite data (TOA reflectance) gave reliable results. Finally the GOCI data processing and distribution service was presented. It is anticipated that the first GOCI data will be distributed to users in early 2011, after completion of the in-orbit and ground test procedures.

New References

Several new references have been added to the IOCCG Recent References list, including one by Roberta C. Hamme et al. (2010) entitled "Volcanic ash fuels anomalous plankton bloom in subarctic northeast Pacific” (Geophys. Res. Lett. Vol. 37). The authors used multiple lines of evidence to demonstrate that volcanic ash deposition from the Kasatochi Volcano eruption in August 2008 (Aleutian Islands, Alaska) initiated one of the largest phytoplankton blooms observed in the 12 years of chlorophyll records from SeaWiFS and MODIS satellites.

Ship-based measurements confirmed high chlorophyll and primary production rates, and showed increased dominance by diatoms. Productivity in the subarctic NE Pacific is generally limited by low iron concentrations, but the widespread transport from the volcanic eruption deposited ash over much of the subarctic NE Pacific, releasing bioavailable iron to the ocean surface. Purposeful fertilization of these areas with iron to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels has been explored in the past for climate mitigation, but the potential impact was speculative, with possible negative ecological consequences. The authors estimated that carbon export by this bloom was relatively modest (~0.01 Pg C), just 0.5% of the roughly 2 Pg C of anthropogenic CO2 taken up by the ocean each year, implying that even large-scale iron fertilization at an optimum time of year is not very efficient at sequestering atmospheric CO2.

Employment Opportunities

Several new positions have been added to the Employment Opportunities section of the IOCCG website, including Post-doctoral Research Scientist positions at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University (USA), and CSIRO Land and Water (Canberra, Australia).

Material for possible inclusion in the IOCCG Newsletter should be submitted to the Project Scientist, Dr. Venetia Stuart
(Email:, replace "-at-" with "@").

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