Abstract

Algorithms that use the SeaWiFS radiometer band reflectance data for the retrieval of phytoplankton pigment concentration, suspended sediment concentration, and yellow substance absorption in coastal water are set up by a computation based on a three-component model of sea color. The varying coastal environment is characterized by a site-specific correlation among the three parameters, subjected to large spatial and temporal fluctuations. The computation is performed with respect to the summer situation of the Gulf of Naples (Mediterranean Sea). The sensitivity of the retrieval of each parameter to variations in the concentration of the two other quantities is investigated by numerical simulations. The sensitivity to the variability of the absorption and scattering properties of phytoplankton and suspended sediment is analyzed, as well as the error induced by the uncertainty of the remote-sensing data. The algorithms’s performance is satisfactorily tested on sets of SeaWiFS band reflectances randomly generated within wide water composition ranges. Although the results obtained cannot be generalized and require experimental validation, the series of tests performed suggests that the proposed algorithms, with numerical constants adjusted to the local conditions, can be effectively applied to several types of coastal environment.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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