Abstract

The light absorption of phytoplankton and colored detrital matter (CDM), which includes contribution of gelbstoff and detrital matters, has distinctive yet overlapping features in the ultraviolet (UV) and visible domain. The CDM absorption (adg) increases exponentially with decreasing wavelength while the absorption coefficient of phytoplankton (aph) generally decreases toward the shorter bands for the range of 350–450 nm. It has long been envisioned that including ocean color measurements in the UV range may help the separation of these two components from the remotely sensed ocean color spectrum. An attempt is made in this study to provide an analytical assessment of this expectation. We started with the development of an absorption decomposition model [quasi-analytical algorithm (QAA)-UV], analogous to the QAA, that partitions the total absorption coefficient using information at bands 380 and 440 nm. Compared to the retrieval results relying on the absorption information at 410 and 440 nm of the original QAA, our analyses indicate that QAA-UV can improve the retrieval of aph and adg, although the improvement in accuracy is not significant for values at 440 nm. The performance of the UV-based algorithm is further evaluated with in situ measurements. The limited improvement observed with the field measurements highlights that the separation of adg and aph is highly dependent on the accuracy of the ocean color measurements and the estimated total absorption coefficient.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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