NOAA Coral Reef Watch Operational Satellite Coral Bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts

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Frequently anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title:
NOAA Coral Reef Watch Operational Satellite Coral Bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts
Abstract:
The NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) operational satellite coral bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts product is part of the CRW operational near-real-time global 50-km satellite coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring product suite. This product suite was initially implemented in 2000 and continues to provide updated monitoring information twice-weekly. This product comprises two components: Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts for the Virtual Stations. Based on the data extracted from CRW's operational global satellite coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring products, the Virtual Stations product provides near-real-time satellite coral bleaching thermal stress data customized for selected major coral reef sites around the world. The name "Virtual Station" is used because it is like having a temperature sensor in the water next to a reef, but it is completely based on satellite remote sensing measurements. Currently, CRW's operational Virtual Stations product contains 227 Virtual Stations; a complete list of the stations is available at <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/vs/docs/list_vs_group_latlon_201103.php> and <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/vs/docs/list_vs_group_latlon_201103.php>. The Virtual Stations product provides, for each location, a current thermal stress level, Coral Bleaching HotSpot, Degree Heating Week (DHW), SST value, and SST Anomaly value. Regional static images of all CRW global products are also provided on the CRW web site to show the detail of thermal stress conditions at and around the station. Additionally, time series data and graphs of primary thermal stress variables, along with the climatological monthly mean SST values and the highest monthly mean SST climatological values expected for the site are available for viewing and download. The Virtual Stations product can be accessed through various product delivery mechanisms, including CRW's web site, Google Map product package, Google Earth product package, and CRW’s Automated Satellite Bleaching Alert System. The Satellite Bleaching Alert System is an automated e-mail alert system that provides subscribers with fast, up-to-date bleaching thermal stress information for reefs of their interest. The categorized bleaching thermal stress level (see below for details) is monitored for changes at all Virtual Stations twice-weekly. Interested users may sign up for free e-mail alerts that document increases and decreases in thermal stress level, as well as potential bleaching conditions at any (or all) CRW Virtual Stations. Automated alerts are delivered to subscribers’ e-mail addresses, up to twice-weekly, if and when an alert level is reached. To subscribe to the free e-mail alerts, visit: <http://coralreefwatch-satops.noaa.gov/VS/virtual_station_alerts.html>, or send an e-mail request to coralreefwatch@noaa.gov. Additional details about the Virtual Stations and Satellite Bleaching Alerts product are available at <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/methodology/methodology.php#vs>. The following are brief descriptions of global near-real-time products that the Virtual Stations product is based on. The satellite Bleaching Alert Area product identifies, for the twice-weekly time period ending on the day indicated in the product, locations where bleaching thermal stress reaches various levels that can lead to coral bleaching. A scale of five coral bleaching thermal stress levels, including No Stress, Bleaching Watch, Bleaching Warning, and Bleaching Alert Level 1 and 2, is used. The thermal stress classification is described in detail at: <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/baa.php>. Both the Bleaching Alert Area, as well as the level of stress defined by the product, are derived from Coral Bleaching HotSpots and Degree Heating Weeks (DHW) values, measured at each site for any given twice-weekly time period. The DHW product (a key tool in the CRW operational product suite) measures accumulation of bleaching thermal stress that coral reefs experience over a period of 12 consecutive weeks (about 3 months), ending on the day indicated in the DHW product. The DHW product is derived from CRW's Coral Bleaching HotSpots product (another central tool in the operational product suite). A Coral Bleaching HotSpot is a specific type of sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly that measures the amount of SST exceeding a static coral bleaching threshold SST; it serves as a measure of instantaneous bleaching thermal stress and shows the occurrence, magnitude, and spatial distribution of the stress. All non-positive HotSpot values are recorded as zeros. The DHW value (again, a measurement of accumulated thermal stress) is, in its most simplistic form, the sum of all of the individual twice-weekly HotSpot values at any particular location, within a 12-week period and with a magnitude of at least 1 degree Celsius, multiplied by the duration of the twice-weekly HotSpot value (i.e., 0.5 weeks). A more complicated formula describing how the DHW value is calculated can be obtained at: <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/methodology/methodology.php#dhw>. One DHW is equivalent to one week of SST at 1 degree Celsius above the threshold, or 0.5 weeks of SST at two degrees Celsius above the threshold. Near-real-time satellite data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on some of NOAA's Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) were used to generate the AVHRR-SST that this CRW product suite is based on. Additional details about this and other CRW products are accessible at: <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite>.
Supplemental_Information:
The entire suite of products mentioned in this metadata file is accessible at <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite>.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    NOAA Coral Reef Watch program, 20000101, NOAA Coral Reef Watch Operational Satellite Coral Bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts: NOAA Coral Reef Watch program, College Park, Maryland, USA.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -179.25
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: 179.25
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 32.25
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: -31.75

  3. What does it look like?

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Beginning_Date: 01-Jan-2000
    Ending_Date: Present
    Currentness_Reference: Ground Condition

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form:
    Remote sensing image, time series data file and graph, ASCII, KML, Javascript, Google Earth, Google Map, webpage, email

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

      This is a Raster data set. It contains the following raster data types:

      • Dimensions 331 x 720, type Grid Cell

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.5. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.5. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    Grid Intersection
    In the source products that the CRW experimental coral bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts product is based on, there are 720 grid intersections in each row (at a pre-defined latitude) and 331 grid intersections in each column (at a pre-defined longitude). Each grid is 0.5 degree latitude by 0.5 degree longitude in size, centered at latitudes of from 80.0S northward to 85.0N and at longitudes of from 180W eastward to 179.5E. (Source: <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/methodology/methodology.php>)


Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    NOAA Coral Reef Watch program
    Attn: NOAA Coral Reef Watch Coordinator
    NOAA, NESDIS/STAR/SOCD Coral Reef Watch, NCWCP, E/RA3, 5830 University Research Court
    College Park, Maryland 20740
    USA

    301-683-3320 (voice)
    301-683-3301 (FAX)
    coralreefwatch@noaa.gov


Why was the data set created?

The NOAA Coral Reef Watch program seeks to fully utilize space-based sea surface temperature (SST) observations combined with in-situ data to continually monitor for early indications of thermally-induced coral reef bleaching worldwide. A suite of monitoring and predicting products, including this satellite coral bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Bleaching Alerts product, has been developed by CRW as a decision support system to provide critical and timely coral reef environment information to the U.S. and international coral reef communities.


How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

    NOAA CRW Near-Real-Time Global Satellite Coral Bleaching Alert Area product (source 1 of 4)
    NOAA/NESDIS Coral Reef Watch program, 20090101, NOAA CRW Twice-Weekly Near-Real-Time Global 50-km Satellite Coral Bleaching Alert Area Product: NOAA Coral Reef Watch program, College Park, Maryland, USA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: data file
    Source_Contribution:
    The coral bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts product was partially derived from this Bleaching Alert Area product.

    NOAA CRW Operational Near-Real-Time Global Satellite Coral Bleaching Degree Heating Weeks product (source 2 of 4)
    NOAA/NESDIS Coral Reef Watch program, 20000101, NOAA CRW Operational Twice-Weekly Near-Real-Time Global 50-km Satellite Coral Bleaching Degree Heating Weeks: NOAA Coral Reef Watch program, College Park, Maryland, USA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: data file
    Source_Contribution:
    The coral bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts product was partially derived from this Degree Heating Weeks product.

    NOAA CRW Operational Near-Real-Time Global Satellite Coral Bleaching HotSpots product (source 3 of 4)
    NOAA/NESDIS Coral Reef Watch program, 19970101, NOAA CRW Operational Twice-Weekly Near-Real-Time Global 50-km Satellite Coral Bleaching HotSpots: NOAA Coral Reef Watch program, College Park, Maryland, USA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: data file
    Source_Contribution:
    The coral bleaching Virtual Stations and Automated Satellite Bleaching Alerts product was partially derived from this Coral Bleaching HotSpots product.

    NOAA CRW Operational Near-Real-Time Global Satellite Sea Surface Temperature product (source 4 of 4)
    NOAA/NESDIS Coral Reef Watch, 19970101, NOAA CRW Operational Twice-Weekly Near-Real-Time Global 50-km Satellite Nighttime Sea Surface Temperatures: NOAA Coral Reef Watch program, College Park, Maryland, USA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: data file
    Source_Contribution:
    The Degree Heating Weeks and HotSpots products were derived from this SST product.

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    Date: Not complete (process 1 of 1)
    The level of coral bleaching thermal stress at a data grid presented in the Bleaching Alert Area product is determined by the values of Degree Heating Weeks and HotSpot at the data grid. A Degree Heating Week is calculated as the accumulation of Coral Bleaching HotSpots over 12 consecutive weeks. At each pixel, a coral bleaching threshold SST value is subtracted from the SST value to produce a Coral Bleaching HotSpot. See the CRW web site at <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.php> for details and suggested references.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    NOAA Coral Reef Watch program
    Attn: NOAA Coral Reef Watch Coordinator
    NOAA, NESDIS/STAR/SOCD Coral Reef Watch, NCWCP, E/RA3, 5830 University Research Court
    College Park, Maryland 20740
    USA

    301-683-3320 (voice)
    301-683-3301 (FAX)
    coralreefwatch@noaa.gov

    Data sources used in this process:
    • NOAA CRW Near-Real-Time Global Satellite Coral Bleaching Alert Area product
    • NOAA CRW Operational Near-Real-Time Global Satellite Coral Bleaching Degree Heating Weeks product
    • NOAA CRW Operational Near-Real-Time Global Satellite Coral Bleaching HotSpots product
    • NOAA CRW Operational Near-Real-Time Global Satellite Sea Surface Temperature product

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?


How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

    The accuracy of the CRW Experimental Satellite Coral Bleaching Virtual Stations and Autmoated Satellite Bleaching Alerts product depends on the accuracy of the products that the Virtual Stations product is derived from. The accuracy of the Coral Bleaching Alert Area product depends on the accuracy of CRW's Degree Heating Weeks (DHW) and Coral Bleaching HotSpots products, which, in turn, depend on the accuracy of satellite SSTs and bleaching threshold SSTs. A full evaluation and validation of the CRW HotSpots product, Degree Heating Weeks product, and the classification of the five bleaching thermal stress levels have not been completed yet. A preliminary evaluation revealed, however, that these products demonstrate remarkable success in detecting, monitoring, and predicting all large spatial scale mass coral bleaching events. Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite (POES) AVHRR-SST values used for creating CRW 50-km SST analysis fields were accurate to within 0.5 degree Celsius and adjusted by in-situ buoy observations to best approximate SST at the depth of one meter. However, when producing a complete, gap-filled SST analysis with global coverage, estimation of SST at the pixels covered by cloud may occasionally reduce the accuracy of SST at these pixels.

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    Users are referred to the following guide on AVHRR-derived sea surface temperature: Goodrum, G., K.B. Kidwell, and W. Winston, 2000, NOAA KLM USER'S GUIDE. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Climatic Data Center, Climate Services Division, Satellite Services Branch, FOB3, Room G227, E/CC33, 5200 Auth Road, Suitland, MD 20746-4304, USA. This manual is available on line at: <http://www2.ncdc.noaa.gov/docs/klm/cover.htm>. To request additional information, contact: Telephone: (828) 271-4850, Telefax: (828) 271-4876, Email: satorder@ncdc.noaa.gov.

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

    none

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    There is no spatial data gap existing in this data set. No change will be made to the original Bleaching Alert Area data, but occasional revisions to some images may occur if an inaccuracy is detected in the image display of the data. New near-real-time Bleaching Alert Area products will be added continuously to this data at scheduled update times. The Bleaching Alert Area product has not been produced retrospectively back to 2000 to match the full time series of HotSpots and Degree Heating Weeks products. In addition, animation and HDF data formats have not been implemented yet for the Bleaching Alert Area product. Retrospectively processed data and new data formats will be available soon on the CRW web site.

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

    none


How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Access_Constraints: none
Use_Constraints:
Not intended for legal use. Data may contain inaccuracies due to cloud cover and/or other reasons.

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)

    NOAA Coral Reef Watch program
    Attn: NOAA Coral Reef Watch Coordinator
    NOAA, NESDIS/STAR/SOCD Coral Reef Watch, NCWCP, E/RA3, 5830 University Research Court
    College Park, Maryland 20740
    USA

    301-683-3320 (voice)
    301-683-3301 (FAX)
    coralreefwatch@noaa.gov

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Downloadable Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    NOAA makes no warranty regarding these data, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data, nor as a result of the failure of these data to function on a particular system.

  4. How can I download or order the data?


Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 26-Jul-2013
Metadata author:
NOAA Coral Reef Watch program
Attn: NOAA Coral Reef Watch Coordinator
NOAA, NESDIS/STAR/SOCD Coral Reef Watch, NCWCP, E/RA3, 5830 University Research Court
College Park, Maryland 20740
USA

301-683-3320 (voice)
301-683-3301 (FAX)
coralreefwatch@noaa.gov

Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)


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