Part 5—Retrieve and Graph Chlorophyll Data

Step 1 –
Obtain and Graph Chlorophyll Data

Chlorophyll is the pigment that plants use for photosynthesis. Consequently, measurements of chlorophyll concentration can serve as an estimate of the biomass (or quantity) of phytoplankton in the water. When a bloom occurs, chlorophyll concentrations increase dramatically. On a graph of chlorophyll concentration over time, bloom events are represented by vertical spikes in the graph.

  1. Use the GoMOOS Graphing and Downloading pages again to generate graphs of chlorophyll levels for buoys A01, and D02. Select Data type: Chlorophyll and Specify: Monthly Average as the unit of time. Note: Some years the data is available in weekly average, but not for 2009.
    1. Select the Chlorophyll data.

    2. Choose buoys A01 and D02 and click Update Selection.

  2. While looking at the graph, answer the following question:
    • How did your estimated date(s) of the phytoplankton bloom compare to the actual bloom as indicated in the chlorophyll graphs at each buoy location?

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