Pierre Larouche

Scientist emeritus

Remote sensing of oceanic and coastal environments

Current research and/or projects

My research activities evolve around the use of remote sensing in oceanography to determine the existing relationships between physical and biological processes. In particular, I use data sea surface temperatures as an indicator of physical processes (currents, upwellings, etc.) and ocean color data (SeaWiFS, MODIS, MERIS) to measure chlorophyll concentration and evaluate phytoplankton productivity.

My work is conducted in the Quebec coastal waters (St. Lawrence estuary and gulf) and in the canadian arctic (Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay, Beaufort Sea). Because the optical properties of these areas are complex, there a continous need to participate to oceanographic campains (NOW, CASES, Arcticnet, IPY) to validate the remote sensing data. 

Professional activities / interests

Professor at:

  • University of Québec at Rimouski

Education and awards

Master (Physical oceanography), Université du Québec à Rimouski, 1984

Master (Geography and Remote Sensing), Sherbrooke University, 1988

Key publications

  1. Laliberté, J., Larouche, P., Devred, E. and S. Craig 2018. Chlorophyll-a concentration retrieval in the optically complex waters of the St. Lawrence Estuary and Gulf using principal component analysis. Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, No. 2. doi: 10.3390/rs10020265.
  2. Bélanger, S., Carrascal-Leal, C., Jaegler, T., Larouche, P., and P. S. Galbraith 2017. Assessment of Radiometric Data from a Buoy in the St. Lawrence Estuary. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic TechnologyVol. 34, No. 4, pp. 877-896. doi: 10.1175/jtech-d-16-0176.1.
  3. Mohammadpour, G., Gagné, J.-P., Larouche, P., and M. A. Montes-Hugo 2017. Optical properties of size fractions of suspended particulate matter in littoral waters of Québec. BiogeosciencesVol. 14, No. 23, pp. 5297-5312. doi: 10.5194/bg-14-5297-2017
  4. Savenkoff, C., Gagné, J.A., Gilbert, M., Castonguay, M., Chabot, D., Chassé, J., Comtois, S., Dutil, J.-D., Galbraith, P.S., Gosselin, J.-F., Grégoire, F., Larocque, R., Larouche, P., Lavoie, D., Lebeuf, M., Lesage, V., Maps, F., McQuinn, I.H., Mosnier, A., Nozères, C., Ouellet, P., Plourde, S., Sainte-Marie, B., Savard, L., Scarratt, M., and Starr, M. 2016. Le concept d’approche écosystémique appliqué à l’estuaire maritime du Saint-Laurent (Canada). Environmental Reviews, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 26-96. doi: 10.1139/er-2015-0083
  5. Larouche, P. and P. S. Galbraith 2016. Canadian coastal seas and Great Lakes sea surface temperature climatology and recent trends. Canadian J. of remote Sensing, 42(3): 243-258. doi: 10.1080/07038992.2016.1166041.
  6. Ben Mustapha, S., P. Larouche and J.-M. M. Dubois 2016. Spatial and temporal variability of sea-surface temperature fronts in the Beaufort Sea from high-resolution satellite data. Continental Shelf Research, 124: 134-141. doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2016.06.001
  7. Cyr, F. and P. Larouche 2015. Thermal front atlas of Canadian coastal waters. Atmosphere-Ocean, 53 (2): 212-236, doi: 10.1080/07055900.2014.986710
  8. Tomasi et al. 2015. Aerosol remote sensing in polar regions. Earth Science Reviews, 140: 108-157.
  9. Xi, H., P. Larouche, C. Michel and S. Tang 2015. Beam attenuation, scattering and backscattering of marine particles in relation to particle size distribution and composition in Hudson Bay, Canada. J. of Geophysical Research, 120: 3286-3300. doi: 10.1002/2014jc010668.
  10. Mohammadpour, G., M. A. Montes-Hugo, R. Stavn, J.-P. Gagné and P. Larouche 2015. Particle composition effects on MERIS-derived SPM: a case study in the Saint Lawrence estuary. Canadian J. of Remote Sensing, 41(6): 515-524. doi: 10.1080/07038992.2015.1110012.
  11. Xi, H., P. Larouche, C. Michel and S. Tang 2014. Characterization and variability of particle size distribution in Hudson Bay, Canada. J. of Geophysical Research, 119(6): 3392-3406, doi: 10.1002/2013JC009542
  12. Tang, S., P. Larouche, A. Niemi and C. Michel 2013. Regional algorithms for remote-sensing estimates of total suspended matter in the Beaufort Sea. International J. of Remote Sensing, 34 (19): 6562-6576, doi: 10.1080/01431161.2013.804222
  13. Xi, H., P. Larouche, Tang, S. and C. Michel 2013. Seasonal variability in light absorption properties and water color parameters in Hudson Bay, Canada. J. of Geophysical Research, doi:  10.1002/jgrc.20237
  14. Ben Mustapha, S., S. Bélanger and P. Larouche 2012. Evaluation of ocean color algorithms in the southeastern Beaufort sea, canadian Arctic: new parameterization using SeaWiFS, MODIS and MERIS spectral bands. Canadian J. of Remote Sensing, 38(5): 535-556.
  15. Bourgeault-Brunelle, C., P. Larouche and M. Gosselin 2012. Variability of phytoplankton light absorption in canadian arctic seas. J. of Geophysical Research, 117 (C00G17), doi: 10.1029/2011jc007345.
  16. Tang, S., C. Michel and P. Larouche 2012. Development of an explicit algorithm for remote sensing estimation of chlorophyll a using symbolic regression, Optics Letters, 37(15): 3165-3167, doi: 10.1364/OL.37.003165
  17. Galbraith, P., P. Larouche, J. Chassé and B. Petrie 2012. Sea-surface temperature in relation to air temperature in the Gulf of St. Lawrence: interdecadal variability and long term trends. Deep-Sea Research II, 77-80:10-20, doi° 10.1016/j.dsr2.2012.04.00
  18. Valère-Djagoua, E., P. Larouche, J. B. Kassi,  K. Affian et B. Saley 2011. Variabilité saisonnière et interannuelle de la concentration de la chlorophylle dans le Golfe de Guinée à partir des images SeaWiFS. Int. J. of Remote Sensing, 32(14): 3851-3874, doi: 10.1080/01431161003782072
  19. Smirnov, A., et al. 2011. Maritime aerosol network as a component of AERONET - first results and comparison with global aerosol models and satellite retrievals. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 4(3), 583-597, doi: 10.5194/amt-4-583-2011
  20. Galbraith, P. and P. Larouche 2011. Sea-surface temperature in Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait in relation to air temperature and ice cover breakup, 1985-2009. J. of Marine Systems, 87(1): 66-78, doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2011.03.00
  21. Larouche, P. and U. Boyer-Villemaire 2010. Suspended particulate matter in the St. Lawrence estuary and Gulf surface layer and development of a remote sensing algorithm. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Scjences, 90: 241-249.
  22. Dufour, R.; Benoit, H.; Castonguay, M.; Chasse, J.; Devine, L.; Galbraith, P.; Harvey, M.; Larouche, P.; Lessard, S.; Petrie, B.; Savard, L.; Savenkoff, C.; St-Amand, L.; Starr, M. 2010. Ecosystem status and trends report : estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence ecozone
  23. Matsuoka, A., P. Larouche, M. Poulin, T. Hirawake, H. Hattori and S.-I. Saitoh 2009. Phytoplankton community adaptation to changing light levels in the southern Beaufort Sea and the Amundsen Gulf, Canadian Arctic. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 82(3) : 537-546.
  24. A.Smirnov, A., B.N.Holben, I.Slutsker, D.M.Giles, C.R.McClain, T.F.Eck, S.M.Sakerin, A.Macke, P.Croot, G.Zibordi, P.K.Quinn, J.Sciare, S.Kinne, M.Harvey, T.J.Smyth, S.Piketh, T.Zielinski, A.Proshutinsky, J.I.Goes, N.B.Nelson, P.Larouche, V.F.Radionov, P.Goloub, K. Krishna Moorthy, R.Matarrese, E.J.Robertson and F.Jourdin 2009. Maritime Aerosol Network (MAN) as a component of AERONET. J. Geophysical Research, 114, D06204, doi:10.1029/2008JD011257
  25. Bélanger, S., M. Babin and P. Larouche 2008. An empirical ocean color algorithm for estimating the contribution of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter to total light absorption in optically complex waters. J. of Geophysical Research, 113 (C04207), doi : 10.1029/2007JC004436
  26. Gosselin, M., S, Brugel, S. Demers, T. Juul-Pedersen, P. Larouche, B. LeBlanc, C. Michel, C. Nozais, M. Poulin, N. Price, A. Riedel, M. Rózánska, K. Simpson and J.-É. Tremblay 2008. Light, nutrients and primary production. In : On thin ice : a synthesis of the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES). Fortier, L., D. Barber and J. Michaud (Eds). Aboriginal Issues Press, p. 69-83.
  27. Lavoie, D., M. Starr, B. Zakardjian and P. Larouche 2008. Identification of ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSA) in the estuary and gulf of St. Lawrence : primary production. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document 2007/079.
  28. Doniol-Valcroze, T., D. Berteaux, P. Larouche and R. Sears 2007. Influence of thermal fronts on the habitat selection of four rorqual whale species in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 335: 207-213.
  29. Ouellet, P., L. Savard and P. Larouche 2007. Spring oceanographic conditions and northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) recruitment success in the northwestern Gulf of St. Lawrence: The match/mismatch hypothesis. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 339 : 229-241.
  30. Du, Y., P. Larouche and P. Vachon 2007. Multi-scale feature tracking in sequential satellite images with wavelet analyis to measure sea surface currents in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Canadian J. of Remote Sensing, 33(6) : 534-540.
  31. Galbraith, P. S., D. Gilbert, C. Lafleur, P. Larouche, B. Pettigrew, J. Chassé. R. G. Pettipas, and W. M. Petrie 2007. Physical oceanographic conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2006. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document 2007-024.
  32. Bélanger, S., H. Xie, N. Krotkov, P. Larouche, W. F. Vincent, and M. Babin 2006. Photomineralization of terrigenous dissolved organic matter in arctic coastal waters from 1979 to 2003: Interannual variability and implications of climate change. Global Biochemical Cycles, 20(4), doi: 10.1029/2006GB002708
  33. Valère-Djagoua, E., P. Larouche, et K. Affian 2006. Variabilité saisonnière et interannuelle de la chlorophylle de surface dans la zone côtière de la Côte d’Ivoire. Télédétection, 6(2): 143-151
  34. Larouche, P., J.-M. Boucher and E. Thomassin 2006. Development of a surface feature motion estimation system for the Gulf of St. Lawrence using SST images. Can. Tech. Rep. Hydrogr. Ocean Sci., 250, 21 pp.
  35. Hudier, E. and P. Larouche 2005. A potential of polarimetric SAR data in mapping first year sea ice pressure ridges from the coherent and non-coherent components of HH and VV channels. EARSeL eProceedings, 4(1), 130-138
  36. Larouche, P. 2004. L’observation des courants de surface. Télédétection, 4, 139-155.
  37. Larouche, P. et J. M. M. Dubois 2004. Introduction au numéro 4(2) La télédétection en océanographie. Télédétection, 4, 99-101.
  38. Barbieri, M. A., C. Silva, P. Larouche, K. Nieto and E. Yáñez 2004. Detection of mesoscale oceanic features using Radarsat-1, AVHRR and SeaWiFS images and its association with jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi) distribution in central Chile. Gayana (Concepc.), 68, supl., 29-39.
  39. Larouche, P., M. El-Mouttaki et A. Djouai 2003. Spectroradiométrie de la matière particulaire dans l’Oued Sebou (Maroc): application aux données de télédétection. Télédétection 3, 85-96.
  40. Ringuette, M., L. Fortier, M. Fortier, J. Runge, S. Bélanger, P. Larouche, J.-M. Weslawski, S. Kwasniewski 2002. Advanced recruitment and accelerated population development in Arctic calanoid copepods of the North Water. Deep-Sea Research II, 49, 5081-5099.
  41. Booth, B. C., P. Larouche, S. Bélanger, D. Amiel, B. Klein, Z.-P. Mei. 2002. Dynamics of Chaetoceros Socialis blooms in the North Water Polynya, Baffin Bay, Canada. Deep-Sea Research II, 49, 5003-5025.
  42. Klein, B., B. LeBlanc, Z.-P. Mei, R. Beret, J. Michaud, C.-J. Mundy, C. H. von Quillfeldt, M.-È. Garneau, S. Roy, Y. Gratton, J. K. Cochran, S. Bélanger, P. Larouche, J. D. Pakulski, R. B. Rivkin, L. Legendre 2002. Size-Fractionated Phytoplankton Biomass and Primary Production in the North Water Polynya. Deep-Sea Research II, 49, 4983-5002.
  43. Mei, Z-P. L. Legendre, Y. Gratton, J.-E. Tremblay, B. Leblanc, C.J. Mundy, B. Klein, M. Gosselin, P. Larouche, T. N. Papakyriakou, C. Lovejoy, C. H. von Quillfeldt 2002. Hydrodynamic control of spring-summer phytoplankton dynamics in the North water polynya, April-July 1998. Deep-Sea Research II, 49, 4959-4982.
  44. Thibeault, B., P. Larouche et J.-M. M. Dubois 2001. Variabilité des phénomènes hydrodynamiques de l'estuaire supérieur du Saint-Laurent à l'aide des données thermiques TM de Landsat-5. Int. J. of Remote Sensing, 23, 511-524.
  45. Larouche, P. 2000. Field intercomparison of two current meters in an under ice environment under conditions of low current speeds. Canadian Tech. Rep. Hydrogr. Ocean Sci. 210, 12p.
  46. Habbane, M., J.-M. Dubois, M. I. El-Sabh et P. Larouche 1998. Empirical algorithms using SeaWifs hyperspectral bands: a simple test. Int. J. of Remote Sensing, 19, 2161-2169.
  47. Larouche, P. 1997. Les techniques de télédétection au service des sciences de la mer. Le Naturaliste Canadien, 121, 58-62.
  48. Fuentes-Yaco, C., A. F. Vézina, P. Larouche, Y. Gratton et M. Gosselin 1997. Phytoplankton pigment in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada as determined by the Coastal Zone Color Scanner. Part 2. Multivariate analysis. Continental Shelf Research, 17, 1441-1459
  49. Fuentes-Yaco, C., A. Vézina, P. Larouche, C. Vigneau, M. Gosselin et M. Levasseur 1997. Phytoplankton pigment in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada as determined by the Coastal Zone Color Scanner. Part 1. Spatio-temporal variability. Continental Shelf Research, 17, 1421-1439.
  50. Simard, N., J.-C. Therriault, P. Larouche, A. Vézina, J. Plourde, J. Percy et D.A. Steel 1996. Données d'océanographie physique et biologique recueillies dans l'est et le nord de la baie d'Hudson et dans le détroit d'Hudson en août et septembre 1993. Rapport statistique canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques 978, 199p.
  51. Gilbert, M., D. Gauthier, J. A. Gagné, Y. Gratton, P. Larouche, B. Morin, R. Morin, J. A. Percy, T. G. Smith, G.-H. Tremblay et G. Walsh 1996. Hypothèses reliées aux effets environnementaux du projet Grande Baleine sur l'écosystème marin côtier du sud-est de la baie d'Hudson. Rapport technique canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques 2127, 67 p.
  52. Lavoie, D., Y. Simard, J. Benoit, P. Larouche et B. Thibeault 1996. Distribution des masses d'eau à la tête du chenal laurentien dans l'estuaire du Saint-Laurent aux étés 1994 et 1995. Rapport technique canadien sur l'hydrographie et les sciences océaniques 176, 126 p.
  53. Larouche, P. et A. Lavoie 1996. Applications de la télédétection à l'étude des océans. Précis de télédétection, Vol. 2, Ch. 10. Presses de l'Université du Québec. F. Bonn (Ed)
  54. Larouche, P., C. Fuentes-Yaco et A. F. Vézina 1996. Spatio-temporal variability of phytoplankton pigments in the Gulf of St. Lawrence as measured by CZCS. International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 31, B7, 406-411.
  55. Larouche, P. 1996. Observation of the Gaspé current using ERS-1 SAR. J. Canadien de Télédétection, 22, 420-427.
  56. Fuentes-Yaco, C., P. Larouche, A. Vézina, C. Vigneau et M. Gosselin 1995. Catalogue of phytoplankton pigment images from the Gulf of St. Lawrence: Coastal Zone Color Scanner data from 1979 to 1981. Canadian Data Rep. Hydrogr. Ocean Sci. 135: 91 p.
  57. Saucier, F., P. Larouche, A. D'Astous et J. Dionne 1994. Moored physical oceanographic data from northeastern Hudson Bay between August 1992 and September 1993. Canadian Data Rep. Hydrogr. Ocean Sci. 132: 73 p.
  58. Hudier, E., D. De Lisle et P. Larouche 1993. Analyse de la distribution des crêtes de pression sur des images satellites. J. Canadien de Télédétection, 19, 83-87.
  59. Larouche, P. 1993. Profils de salinité et de température recueillis dans le courant de Gaspé. Volume 4: juin 1993. Rap. Stat. Can. Hydrogr. Sci. Océan., 119: 46 p.
  60. Larouche, P. 1993. Profils de salinité et de température recueillis dans le courant de Gaspé. Volume 3: août 1992. Rap. Stat. Can. Hydrogr. Sci. Océan., 119: 96 p.
  61. Larouche, P. 1993. Profils de salinité et de température recueillis dans le courant de Gaspé. Volume 2: mai 1992. Rap. Stat. Can. Hydrogr. Sci. Océan., 119: 134 p.
  62. Larouche, P. 1993. Profils de salinité et de température recueillis dans le courant de Gaspé. Volume 1: septembre 1991. Rap. Stat. Can. Hydrogr. Sci. Océan., 119: 119 p.
  63. Pettigrew, B. et P. Larouche 1992. Données courantométriques et météorologiques dans le sud-est de la baie d'Hudson durant l'hiver 1986. Rapp. Stat. Can. Hydrogr. Sci. Océan. 113, 87 p.
  64. Larouche, P. et C. Cariou 1992. Directional wave spectra estimation in a marginal ice zone using linear prediction. J. of Physical Oceanography, 22, 196-206.
  65. Larouche, P. 1990. Winter offshore/onshore wind differences in southeastern Hudson Bay, Canada. Arctic, 43: 55-59.
  66. Larouche, P. et J.-M. M. Dubois 1990. Dynamical evaluation of the surface circulation using remote sensing of drifting ice floes. J. of Geophysical Research, 95: 9755-9764.
  67. Reeves, R.R., E.G. Atkinson, J. Boulva, A. Gaston, J. Green, P. Larouche, D. Mudry, J. Percy, T.G. Smith 1990. Report of marine birds and mammals working group. Pages 33-38 in J.A. Percy (ed.). Proceedings of a workshop : Marine Ecosystem Studies in Hudson Strait, November 9-10, 1989, Montréal, Québec. Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans (Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 1770) (Cote: 1990, 5(18)).
  68. Taggart, C.T., K.F. Drinkwater, K.T. Frank, J. McRuer et P. Larouche 1989. Larval fish, zooplankton community structure and physical dynamics at a tidal front. Rapp. P.-V. Réunion du Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer, 191:184-194.
  69. Larouche, P. et P.S. Galbraith 1989. Factors affecting fast ice consolidation in southeastern Hudson Bay, Canada. Atmosphere-Ocean, 27: 367-375.
  70. Larouche, P. et J.C. Deguise 1989. Field intercomparison of three current meters in an environment free from high frequency motion. Continental Shelf Research, 9: 555-568.
  71. Larouche, P. et J.-M.M. Dubois 1988. Evaluation dynamique de la circulation de surface par télédétection de la dérive de blocs de glace dans la baie d'Hudson, Canada. Photo-Interprétation, 1988-6:19-28.
  72. Ingram, R.G. et P. Larouche 1987. Variability of an under-ice river plume in Hudson Bay. J. of Geophysical Research, 92: 9541-9547.
  73. Ingram, R.G. et P. Larouche 1987. Changes in the under-ice characteristics of the La Grande River plume due to discharge variations. Atmosphere-Ocean, 25: 242-250.
  74. Larouche, P., V.G. Koutitonsky, J.P. Chanut et M.I. El-Sabh 1987. Lateral stratification and dynamic balance at the Matane transect in the lower St. Lawrence estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 24: 859-871.
  75. Larouche, P. 1984. Mesures océanographiques dans le panache de la Grande Rivière de la Baleine, hiver 1983. Rapp. Stat. Can. Hydrogr. Sci. Océan. 20, 706 p.
  76. Larouche, P. 1984. Mesures océanographiques dans le panache de la Grande Rivière de la Baleine, hiver 1982. Rapp. Stat. Can. Hydrogr. Sci. Ocean. 19, 259 p.

Research facility

850, route de la Mer
Mont-Joli, QC G5H 3Z4