National Ocean Service
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a significant problem in both coastal and inland waters. Detecting these blooms requires a combination of multiple spectral bands and ancillary data. While definitive discrimination of blooms is not possible, because of pigment similarities, having more bands allows for more effective strategies for finding blooms. Currently, the Ocean Land Colour Imager (OLCI) has the greatest value, because of the number bands between 600 and 800 nm. Information on fluorescence, chlorophyll absorption, scattering, and phycocyanin absorption are all extractable from OLCI. Combining information from these various methods provides an important step in identifying these blooms. Several examples of these are provided, as well as hyperspectral reflectance spectra that shows strengths and weaknesses of the existing band set.