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research bodyMarLab

Marine Optical Laboratory


The Marine Optical Laboratory is primarily intended to support the JRC marine activities addressing the fitness for purpose of satellite derived data products through the use of the reference measurements produced within the context of its field activities.

Specialised research laboratory supporting remote sensing ocean colour calibration and validation activities through the absolute calibration of passive and active optical instruments, the determination of the inherent optical properties of sea water constituents and the quantification of relevant phytoplankton pigment concentrations.

The laboratory activities include operational and development components.


  • Absolute radiometric calibrations in the visible and near-infrared
    of radiance and irradiance sensors
  • Characterisation of the immersion factor for radiance and irradiance sensors
  • Characterisation of the angular response of irradiance sensors
  • Calibration of absorption and attenuation meters
  • Spectrophotometric determination of the absorption coefficient of seawater absorption coefficients for pigmented and non-pigmented particles, and coloured dissolved organic matter.
  • Determination of pigments concentration through High Performance Liquid Chromatography

Relevant publications:

G. Zibordi and K.J.Voss, In situ optical radiometry in the visible and near infrared. In Optical Radiometry for Oceans Climate Measurements, Experimental Methods in the Physical Sciences volume 47, G. Zibordi, C. Donlon and A. Parr Ed.s, Elsevier - Academic Press, Amsterdam (December 2014).

S. Mekaoui and G. Zibordi. Cosine error for a class of hyperspectral irradiance sensors. Metrologia, 50, 187--199, doi:10.1088/0026-1394/50/3/187, 2013.

G.Zibordi. Immersion factor of in-water radiance sensors: assessment for a class of radiometers. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 23: 302-313, 2006.

G.Zibordi, S.Hooker, J.Mueller, S.McLean, G.Lazin. Characterization of the immersion factor for a series of in-water optical radiometers. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 21:501-514, 2004.

H. Claustre, S. B. Hooker, L. Van Heukelem, J.-F. Berthon, R. Barlow, J. Ras, ... and J. C. Marty. An intercomparison of HPLC phytoplankton pigment methods using in situ samples: application to remote sensing and database activities. Marine Chemistry, 85(1), 41-61, 2004.

G. M Ferrari, The relationship between chromophoric dissolved organic matter and dissolved organic carbon in the European Atlantic coastal area and in the West Mediterranean Sea (Gulf of Lions). Marine Chemistry, 70(4), 339-357, 2000.

S. Tassan, and G. M. Ferrari. An alternative approach to absorption measurements of aquatic particles retained on filters. Limnology and Oceanography, 40(8), 1358-1368, 1995.



Giuseppe Zibordi (EOSS)


Elisabetta Canuti

Lukasz Jankowski