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6 February 1997 Yellow substances in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine: implications for ocean color algorithms
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Proceedings Volume 2963, Ocean Optics XIII; (1997)
Event: Ocean Optics XIII, 1996, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
We believe that the coastal estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico during spring runoff are among the worst possible cases for the measurement of phytoplankton chlorophyll by satellite colorimetry. Five coastal sections were sampled during May, 1996, extending from the 100m isobath shoreward to the mounts of major rivers in the southern Gulf of Maine. Water columns were dominated by short wavelength absorbing materials of terrestrial origin which, like many coastal areas, are inversely correlated with salinity. Excluding water absorption which is negligible at short visible wavelengths, we have modeled the system using two major absorbers: dissolved yellow substances and particulates. In Gulf of Maine coastal waters during spring, 80-90 percent of the total absorption coefficient at short visible wavelengths is due to yellow substances. At salinities greater than 30 parts per thousand and at wavelengths longer than 450nm, the dominance of dissolved yellow substances decreases. In terms of remote sensing reflectance, the use of two wavelength ratio algorithms leads to disastrous overestimates of phytoplankton chlorophyll concentrations. On the positive side, this dataset will be useful for testing algorithms designed to retrieve phytoplankton chlorophyll from water leaving radiances measured at stations with high concentrations of colored dissolved organic matter.
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Charles S. Yentsch and David Allen Phinney "Yellow substances in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine: implications for ocean color algorithms", Proc. SPIE 2963, Ocean Optics XIII, (6 February 1997);

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