Abstract

For the atmospheric correction of ocean-color imagery obtained over Case I waters with the Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) instrument the method currently used to relax the black-pixel assumption in the near infrared (NIR) relies on (1) an approximate model for the nadir NIR remote-sensing reflectance and (2) an assumption that the water-leaving radiance is isotropic over the upward hemisphere. Radiance simulations based on a comprehensive radiative-transfer model for the coupled atmosphere–ocean system and measurements of the nadir remote-sensing reflectance at 670 nm compiled in the SeaWiFS Bio-optical Algorithm Mini-Workshop (SeaBAM) database are used to assess the validity of this method. The results show that (1) it is important to improve the flexibility of the reflectance model to provide more realistic predictions of the nadir NIR water-leaving reflectance for different ocean regions and (2) the isotropic assumption should be avoided in the retrieval of ocean color, if the chlorophyll concentration is larger than approximately 6, 10, and 40 mg m-3 when the aerosol optical depth is approximately 0.05, 0.1, and 0.3, respectively. Finally, we extend our scope to Case II ocean waters to gain insight and enhance our understanding of the NIR aspects of ocean color. The results show that the isotropic assumption is invalid in a wider range than in Case I waters owing to the enhanced water-leaving reflectance resulting from oceanic sediments in the NIR wavelengths.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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