Long-term Changes of Phytoplankton Around Australia

The project is about testing various algorithms for processing of data from the Sentinel3/OLCI satellite mission, and to analyse the results in terms of long-term changes in phytoplankton in oceans around Australia.

Principal investigator

David Antoine david.antoine@curtin.edu.au
Magnifying glass

Area of science


Systems used


Applications used

gfortran, gs, vi, GMT, netCDF command tools, python
Partner Institution: Curtin University| Project Code: Sentinel3-OLCI

The Challenge

Merging large amounts of Sentinel3 products into gridded products at weekly or monthly resolution.
Adapting an atmospheric correction code previously developed for the ESA ENVISAT/MERIS mission to the Sentinel3/OLCI.
Doing this over a sufficiently long time series so as to identify possible temporal trends.

The Solution

Having access to data from the Copernicus Australasian Data Hub.
Having access to flexible computing environment to test the algorithms before applying them on large amounts of data (that part having been done on the NCI).

The Outcome

We reached our objectives thanks to the flexibility offered by the Nimbus environment. Mass processing was then performed on the NCI in collaboration with CSIRO.

List of Publications

Richardson A.J, Eriksen R, Moltmann T, Hodgson-Johnston I, Wallis J.R. (2020). State and Trends of Australia’s Ocean Report, Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).

Available at: https://www.imosoceanreport.org.au

Figure 1. Phytoplankton chlorophyll concentration around Australia, from the OLCI instrument. This map displays the average concentration for April 2019, and was obtained through processing of billions of individual pixels using Pawsey computing resources (Nimbus) and the Australasian “Copernicus data Hub”.
Figure 2. Trends in Chlorophyll a (mg/m3/y) for each 4 km2 across the entire Australian region (50°S to equator, 100°E to 170°E) from 2003 to 2019, obtained from observations of the NASA/Aqua MODIS sensor..