Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The PO.DAAC is pleased to announce the public release of the (Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System) CYGNSS Version 1.0 (V1.0) ocean microplastic concentration dataset. The CYGNSS V1.0 ocean microplastic concentration data are intended for users with interest in microplastic collection or monitoring. Detection of plastics from remote sensing is an active area of research. This product demonstrates the potential use of bistatic radars via indirect methods. Specifically, microplastic concentration number density (#/km2) is estimated by an empirical relationship between ocean surface roughness and wind speed (Evans and Ruf, 2021). User caution is advised in regions containing independent, non-correlative factors affecting ocean surface roughness, such as anomalous atmospheric conditions within the Intertropical Convergence Zone, biogenic surfactants (such as algal blooms), oil spills, etc.

This product reports microplastic concentration on a daily temporal and 0.25 degree latitude/longitude spatial grid with 30-day, 1 degree lat/lon feature resolution, as constrained by the binning and spatiotemporal averaging of the Mean Square Slope (MSS) anomaly (i.e., difference between measured and predicted ocean surface roughness for a given wind speed). MSS anomalies are used to resolve microplastic concentration using a log-linear model derived from the relationship between annual MSS anomaly averages and modelled microplastic concentrations. The data covers the time period from 2 April 2017 to 25 September 2018. More information on how the data was produced is provided in the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document. The dataset is provided as 18 NetCDF files, each containing one month of daily 0.25x0.25-degree gridded maps of microplastic number density (#/km2). Also provided are the standard deviation and number of samples of pre-gridded microplastic concentration that are averaged at each grid cell. More information on the data structure can be found in the Data Dictionary.

More information regarding the CYGNSS project can be accessed on PO.DAAC’s mission webpage.




Citation of this data product can be made using the following citation template: CYGNSS. M. Evans, C. Ruf, 2021. CYGNSS Level 3 Microplastic Concentration Retrievals Version 1.0. PO.DAAC, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at [Insert DOI].


Evans M. C., and Ruf C. S., (2021). Toward the Detection and Imaging of Ocean Microplastics with a Spaceborne Radar. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing,