Investigation of hydrogen sulphide eruptions along the Namibian coastline using different remote sensing systems
Hydrogen sulphide eruptions with their typical turquoise discolorations at the water surface are a unique phenomenon along the Namibian coastline. The remote sensing techniques of ocean colour sensors and microwave scatterometers were used for the investigation of such events. The studies with ocean colour sensors showed that the turquoise discolorations near the Namibian coast were neither linked to dust deposition into the water column by desert storms nor to the reflection of bright material in shallow water areas. In addition, other coloured marine events like algae blooms and river outflows were differentiable from the hydrogen sulphide eruptions by their special optical properties. Quasi-true colour images and spectral identification methods were utilised to monitor and investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of sulphide events. In the past years, they were sometimes and locally limited discovered. Newest remote sensing observations including our own investigations have established that the occurrence of sulphide events is more frequent and longer lasting. The north-westerly direction of propagation and their velocity between 12 cm s-1 and 15 cm s1 were derived from an event on 14 April 2004. Lastly, the microwave scatterometer remote sensing was applied to investigate the relation of sulphide events to oceanographic conditions. The events from May 2004 were clearly related to strong coastal upwelling. Keywords: remote sensing, hydrogen sulphide eruption, MODIS, MERIS, QuikSCAT.
Central European Journal of Geosciences