IMOS Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Harmful Algal Bloom forecasting as a focus for the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)

As IMOS plans ahead for its second decade of operation, we need to think about opportunities for increasing impact, particularly by exploiting the integrated nature of our observing system and its relationship with ocean modelling and forecasting. In developing the IMOS Five Year Plan (2017-22), Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) research has emerged as one area worthy of consideration.

IMOS has invested in in situ optics and satellite ocean colour radiometry (OCR), and in looking at the synergies between them through the Bio-optical Working Group. More recently, we have begun working with the microbial ecology community. We have also invested in a range of observations to support development of hydrodynamic and biogeochemical modelling in all regional Nodes.

The building blocks are clearly in place for IMOS to take a more integrated approach to various issues including HABs and an expert group has been formed to explore the potential for IMOS for underpin research into HAB forecasting and work towards a HABs forecasting system.

The group includes expertise from satellite remote sensing, phytoplankton and microbial ecology, HAB toxicology, hydrodynamic and BGC modelling as well as industry representatives. A summary of the experts’ research related to HABs can be found here.