What Color is The Ocean?[14-Aug-2016] This brochure contains background information on ocean color, plankton, and remote sensing. Included is the Simple Spectrophotometer Activity and associated worksheets.
Simple Spectrophotometer ActivityIn this activity, you will use an inexpensive, simple spectrophotometer to test how light at different visible wavelengths (blue, green, red) is transmitted, or absorbed, through four different colored water samples. Clear water is used as the control, characterizing the light source and normalizing the other samples. Blue represents open ocean water with few plants - conditions you might find far from land in the middle of the ocean. Green represents productive water with a high concentration of phytoplankton, (i.e., a phytoplankton bloom). The tea water represents coastal water or river out flow that contains decaying organic material such as leaves.
ReferenceSchollaert Uz, S. (2015). Building Intuition for In-Water Optics and Ocean Color Remote Sensing: Spectrophotometer Activity with littleBits™, Oceanography, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2016.01. What Color is The Ocean? (PDF, 8.4 MB)