the Correlation between Sea Surface
Temperature, Chlorophyll Concentrations,
QuikSCAT Wind Data and the Presence
of Caretta caretta and Chelonia Mydas
In The Mid-Atlantic
The long distance movement of marine turtles is one of the wonders of
the natural world, with recapture techniques showing how some species
move thousands of kilometers across the ocean (Meylan, 1995). The Mid-Atlantic
serves as a host environment for a number of sea turtle species that encompasses
their seasonal migration routes. Currently, out of the six turtles species
all are labeled as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered
Previous research suggests that migration routes are strongly influenced
by two factors: sea surface temperature and chlorophyll concentrations.
Studies in the past that investigate sea turtles and their correlation
with Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sea surface temperature
(SST) and chlorophyll concentration have only focused on one turtle species,
the Caretta caretta (loggerhead turtle).
This study included two species of sea turtles, the Caretta caretta and
Chelonia mydas (green turtle). These turtles were tracked along the Mid-Atlantic
to determine if a correlation exists between migration routes, sea surface
temperature, chlorophyll concentrations, and wind data. Archived AVHRR
sea surface temperature and OrbView-2 SeaWiFS chlorophyll data were derived,
processed, and analyzed at the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing
Education and Research (CERSER) located on the campus of Elizabeth City
State University. CERSER has a TeraScan 1.5m System that is configured
to ingest data from polar orbiting satellites. The system contains a suite
of software which was utilized for the processing and analysis of the
data. In addition, AVHRR sea surface temperature and QuikSCAT wind data
were utilized from the Jet Proportions Laboratory.
Before processing the data, TeraCapCon,
a software package used for scheduling
and viewing images that are ingested
into the TeraScan System, was used
to locate data. Once data was located
it was retrieved from archival tape
using the TeraScan pass disk. After
retrieval AVHRR data was processed
using the command ‘hrptin’. The command ‘outliers’
was then used to correct for noisy data. Once the noisy data was corrected
it was calculated for the sea surface temperature using the command ‘nitpix’.
‘Nitpix’ converts brightness temperature to sea surface temperature
in areas that are determined to be cloud free. ‘Nitpix’ is
an implementation of the Multichannel
sea surface temperature (MCSST) algorithm.
The AVHRR data was then ready for
Before the SeaWifs data could be
processed it first had to be decrypted.
CERSER has a two week delayed license.
With this license SeaWifs data must
remain on the system for two weeks
before it can be processed. After
decryption of the data it was processed
using the command ‘seawifsin’
and calculated for chlorophyll concentrations using the command ‘swcolor’.
the official SeaWiFS ocean color
algorithms to derive chlorophyll,
pigment concentrations, and aerosol
optimal depth. The SeaWiFS data was
then ready for processing.
This project was a continuation of
the paper “A Determination of
Temporal and Spatial Distribution, Migratory Patterns, and Habitats for
Sea Turtles using AVHRR”.