Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Marine Science

Major Professor

Frank E. Muller-Karger, Ph.D.


Chlorophyll-a, Color dissolved organic matter, Mississippi river plume, Phytoplankton absorption, Detritus absorption, Chlorophyll-specific absorption, Salinity, Seawifs, Cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies, Packaging effect, Pigment composition


Bio-optical variability of surface waters in Northeastern Gulf of Mexico (NEGOM) was examined using satellite and in situ data. Relatively high chlorophyll-a concentration (chl>1 mg m-3) and high colored dissolved organic mater (ag443>0.1 m-1) were generally observed inshore, near major river mouths, and in plumes of Mississippi River water that extended offshore during the three consecutive summer seasons (1998, 1999, and 2000). River discharge dominated chlorophyll-a concentration variability inshore, particularly near major river mouths. Strong interannual variability in chlorophyll-a concentration was observed inshore from Escambia to Tampa Bay region during the winter to spring transition, which was different in 1998 compared to the winter to spring transition in 1999 and 2000. This was related to higher fresh water discharge during the 1997-1998 El Niǫ-Southern Oscillation event as well as strong upwelling in spring 1998.