A method, using an optimization scheme, has been developed for the interpretation of spectral albedo (or spectral reflectance) curves obtained from remotely sensed water color data. This method used a two-flow model of the radiation flow and solves for the albedo. Optimization fitting of predicted to observed reflectance data is performed by a quadratic interpolation method for the variables chlorophyll concentration and scattering coefficient. The technique is applied to airborne water color data obtained from Kawartha Lakes, Sargasso Sea, and Nova Scotia coast. The modeled spectral albedo curves are compared to those obtained experimentally, and the computed optimum water parameters are compared to ground truth values. It is shown that the backscattered spectral signal contains information that can be interpreted to give quantitative estimates of the chlorophyll concentration and turbidity in the waters studied.
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