Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 01 Issue 01

View Issue TOC
Volume 01, No. 1
Pages 18 - 18


REVIEW AND COMMENT • Satellite Ocean Color—Status Report 

By James A. Yoder, Wayne E. Esaias, Gene C. Feldman, and Charles R. McClain 
Jump to
Citation Copyright & Usage
First Paragraph

Satellite ocean color measurement is 10 years old this year. The Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) was launched on the Nimbus-7 satellite in October, 1978, as a 1-year proof-of-concept mission. CZCS measured reflected sunlight at 443, 520, 550, 670 and 750 nm and infrared emissions at 11.5 um, across a swath 2200 km wide and with a spatial resolution (pixel size) at nadir of 0.8 km2. CZCS produced data until summer, 1986, when technical problems with the instrument forced an end to the mission. During the past 10 years, engineers, physicists, optical oceanographers, phytoplankton ecologists and physiologists, numerical modelers and others worked together to develop the methods and procedures for incorporating CZCS imagery into mainstream oceanography. Progress has not been easy and technical problems still remain. However, many oceanographers now feel that satellite ocean color measurements are an essential, if not indispensable, component of oceanographic field experiments. This is especially true of the U.S. Global Ocean Flux Study (GOFS) and other initiatives that are developing under the multi -agency U.S. Global Ocean Science Program (U.S. GOSP Interagency Working Group, 1987) and its international analogues.


Yoder, J.A., W.E. Esaias, G.C. Feldman, and C.R. McClain. 1988. Satellite ocean color—Status report. Oceanography 1(1):18, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1988.34.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.