Radiation from the ocean surface of light in the visible wavelengths gives information about the color of the ocean. This "ocean color" (radiances) can be used to estimate chlorophyll concentration (the pigment in plants and phytoplankton responsible for photosynthesis and the dominant source of color in the open ocean) or the coefficients of light attenuation through the water column and other parameters (generally related to biological processes). In coastal areas, other biological compounds and minerals add complexity to interpretation. Clouds will block remotely sensed OC.

The following list shows the various Ocean Color near real time and science quality data products available from NOAA CoastWatch

    NOAA MSL12 Ocean Color - Near Real Time - VIIRS single-sensor SNPP and NOAA-20

    VRSUCW_B2018284_C9_182613-183154_200713-201129_GM05_edgemask_kd490_120.png VIIRS Ocean Color Level 2 (EDR) is produced through NOAA Multi-Sensor Level 1 to Level 2 processing system (MSL12) from IDPS satellite data record (SDR, Level 1b).  Level 3 mapped and binned products are also available.  Near real time data are available from Suomi NPP and from NOAA-20 platforms.


    NOAA MSL12 Ocean Color, near real time, VIIRS multi-sensor SNPP + NOAA-20 daily merge

    V2020015_D1_NPP-N20_WW00_chloci_800_0.png VIIRS Ocean Color multi-sensor (SNPP + NOAA-20) daily merge (Level 3 composite) is produced from the NOAA Multi-Sensor Level 1 to Level 2 processing system (MSL12) near real time processing stream by the NOAA ocean color science team.  NOAA CoastWatch converts files to NetCDF and serves them here.

    NOAA MSL12 Ocean Color, science quality, VIIRS multi-sensor (SNPP + NOAA-20), chlorophyll gap-filled analysis

    V2020006_A1_WW00_chlora_120.png VIIRS Ocean Color multi-sensor gap-filled analysis (Level 4) is produced with input from the VIIRS multi-sensor (SNPP + NOAA-20) daily merged chlorophyll and monthly climatology using the DINEOF method of interpolation for gap-filling.  The chlorophyll algoritm used is OCI.  The NOAA ocean color science team provides the gap-filled data file to NOAA CoastWatch.  CoastWatch converts these to the NetCDF product and serves them.

    Ocean Color - Near Real Time - OLCI Sentinel-3A and 3B Regional Coverage


    OLCI Sentinel-3A and 3B regional coverage (US coasts of interest, a.k.a. "CONUS" but including Hawaii) Level-3 mapped daily composites of ocean color remote sensing reflectances (Rrs(λ), chlorophyll-a concentration and derived water quality related products including diffuse attenuation coefficient at 490 nm (Kd490),  normalized fluorescence line height (NLFH), and total suspended matter (TSM) from the EUMETSAT processing.