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Limnology and Oceanography: Methods


In situ chlorophyll fluorometers have been widely employed for more than half a century, and to date, it still remains the most used instrument to estimate chlorophyll-a concentration in the field, especially for measurements onboard autonomous observation platforms, e.g., Bio-Argo floats and gliders. However, in deep waters (> 300 m) of some specific regions, e.g., subtropical gyres and the Black Sea, the chlorophyll fluorescence profiles frequently reveal "deep sea red fluorescence" features. In line with previous studies and through the analysis of a large data set (cruise transect in the South East Pacific and data acquired by 82 Bio- Argo floats), we show that the fluorescence signal measured by a humic-like DOM fluorometer is highly correlated to the "deep sea red fluorescence." Both fluorescence signals are indeed linearly related in deep waters. To remove the contribution of non-algal organic matter from chlorophyll fluorescence profiles, we introduce a new correction. Rather that removing a constant value (generally the deepest chlorophyll a fluorescence value from the profile, i.e., so-called "deep-offset correction"), we propose a correction method which relies on DOM fluorometry and on its variation with depth. This new method is validated with chlorophyll concentration extracted from water samples and further applied on the Bio-Argo float data set. More generally, we discuss the potential of the proposed method to become a standard and routine procedure in quality-control and correction of chlorophyll a fluorescence originating from Bio-Argo network.

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