Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 17 Issue 02

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Volume 17, No. 2
Pages 9 - 13


Studies of Coastal Ocean Dynamics and Processes Using Emerging Optical Technologies

Tommy D. Dickey
First Paragraph

Increasing emphasis is being placed upon scientific research, monitoring, and management of the coastal ocean for many compelling reasons. It is estimated that over 60 percent of the human population dwells within the coastal zone (defined as the region lying within –200 m and +200 m of mean sea level; Pernetta and Milliman, 1995). Benefits derived from coastal waters include fisheries, natural resources, transport of goods, and recreation. These same waters are often adversely affected by pollution from river and storm runoff, spills and resuspension of waste materials, input of fertilizers causing eutrophication and sometimes anoxia, blooms of harmful algal species (e.g., red tides, brown tides, fish kills), and transport of ecologically damaging non-endemic species. The role of the coastal ocean in global carbon cycling and sequestration remains uncertain; however, optical tools have already proven valuable for biogeochemical as well as pollution and ecological studies (e.g., Dickey, 2001, 2003). Other important applications of coastal optical measurements include prediction of underwater visibility and water depth for purposes including navigation, shipping, and tactical naval operations.


Dickey, T.D. 2004. Studies of coastal ocean dynamics and processes using emerging optical technologies. Oceanography 17(2):9–13, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2004.40.

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