Title: Assessment of Apparent and Inherent Optical Properties Derived from SeaWiFS with Field Data
Citation: REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT vol. 97 p. 540-553
Publication Year: 2005
JRC N°: JRC30932
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC30932
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The knowledge of the absorption and scattering characteristics of the ocean supports diverse applications for studying biological and physical processes of marine ecosystems. The determination of the related inherent optical properties from remote sensing is addressed for a site located in the northern Adriatic Sea using coincident SeaWiFS images and field measurements. The proposed methodology first combines regional algorithms to determine the spectra of irradiance reflectance and diffuse attenuation coefficient from the normalized water leaving radiance by accounting for the bidirectional structure of the light field. These spectra are then used as inputs to an inverse model that yields the absorption, scattering, and backscattering coefficients of seawater (considered without the contribution of pure water). The uncertainties associated with the different steps in the sequence of calculations are quantified and discussed. Specifically, the analysis of 48 match-ups comparing in situ irradiance reflectance with that derived from remote sensing water leaving radiance shows mean absolute differences below 20% between 490 and 555 nm and approximately 30% at 443 and 670 nm. Lower discrepancies are obtained if more stringent criteria for the selection of match-ups are implemented (12-15% and 20-22%, respectively). The results obtained with 42 matchups show a reasonable agreement for the absorption coefficient from 412 to 490 nm (approximately 35%), the scattering coefficient from 443 to 555 nm (approximately 30%), and the attenuation coefficient in the spectral range 412-555 nm (approximately 30%). Based on 17 matchups, the comparison for the backscattering coefficient gives mean absolute differences in the range of 31-53%. The comparison between field and derived scattering properties suggests that the particulate scattering phase function inherent to the inverse model is not appropriate for the site considered. Finally, in the framework of the selected inversion scheme, uncertainties associated with the satellite derived irradiance reflectance in the blue and the determination of Kd at 490 nm through an empirical band ratio algorithm appear as the elements where improvements would be particularly needed to derive high quality spectra of inherent optical properties.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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