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An artificial neural network to infer the mediterranean 3d chlorophyll-a and temperature fields from remote sensing observations

TitleAn artificial neural network to infer the mediterranean 3d chlorophyll-a and temperature fields from remote sensing observations
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSammartino, M., Nardelli B.B., Marullo S., and Santoleri R.
JournalRemote Sensing
KeywordsAbsolute dynamic topography, Chlorophyll, Chlorophyll-a concentration, Image reconstruction, Multi layer perceptron, Multilayer neural networks, Non-linear relationships, Oceanography, Remote sensing, Remote sensing data, Satellite observations, Satellites, Sea surface observations, Spatial and temporal variability, Surface waters, Topography

Remote sensing data provide a huge number of sea surface observations, but cannot give direct information on deeper ocean layers, which can only be provided by sparse in situ data. The combination of measurements collected by satellite and in situ sensors represents one of the most effective strategies to improve our knowledge of the interior structure of the ocean ecosystems. In this work, we describe a Multi-Layer-Perceptron (MLP) network designed to reconstruct the 3D fields of ocean temperature and chlorophyll-a concentration, two variables of primary importance for many upper-ocean bio-physical processes. Artificial neural networks can efficiently model eventual non-linear relationships among input variables, and the choice of the predictors is thus crucial to build an accurate model. Here, concurrent temperature and chlorophyll-a in situ profiles and several different combinations of satellite-derived surface predictors are used to identify the optimal model configuration, focusing on the Mediterranean Sea. The lowest errors are obtained when taking in input surface chlorophyll-a, temperature, and altimeter-derived absolute dynamic topography and surface geostrophic velocity components. Network training and test validations give comparable results, significantly improving with respect to Mediterranean climatological data (MEDATLAS). 3D fields are then also reconstructed from full basin 2D satellite monthly climatologies (1998–2015) and resulting 3D seasonal patterns are analyzed. The method accurately infers the vertical shape of temperature and chlorophyll-a profiles and their spatial and temporal variability. It thus represents an effective tool to overcome the in-situ data sparseness and the limits of satellite observations, also potentially suitable for the initialization and validation of bio-geophysical models. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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Citation KeySammartino20201