In situ video and diffraction analysis of marine particles

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A design for a new underwater video-system to detect and observe suspended particles is presented. Particles are collected and isolated in a rectangular box where they are highly illuminated by a white light plane. The total field of view is determined. The camera, equipped with a remote controlled zoom, can resolve particles sizes ranging from 25 μm to several millimetres. Real-time image analyses are therefore performed. Particle counts and size spectra are calculated and displayed. Total light intensity scattered by the illuminated particles is closely related to the back-scattering values determined by an optical back-scatter sensor. A particle size analyser using diffraction analysis is associated to this video-system on a custom profiler. Hydrological parameters are measured by a standard CTD probe associated to a chlorophyll sensor. Results are acquired and graphically presented in real time. This custom profiler presents numerous advantages in oceanographic research. Two examples of its use in different coastal areas are presented. In an estuary, temporal evolution of particle characteristics was described in relation to the tide cycle. While the video-system allows direct visualization and characterization of the largest particles, the particle-size analyser performs precise quantification of the finest ones. It was shown that the two methods were in accordance for quantification of large aggregates, which were observed around slack tide when salinity decreased. Video analyses cannot be performed above 25 mg l-1 dry weight equivalent. The system reliability, resolution and limits were also demonstrated during a cruise in the Gulf of Finland. A typical profile is presented here showing different layers, one characterized by the association of heterotrophic flagellates and detritals, and another dominated by zooplankton, the surface layer being characterized by cyanobacterial colonies. Video associated to diffraction analyses allows the study of flocculation processes in estuaries and a detailed description of thin layers. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Lunven, M., Gentien, P., Kononen, K., Le Gall, E., & Daniélou, M. M. (2003). In situ video and diffraction analysis of marine particles. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 57(5–6), 1127–1137.

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