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Shanmugam, P Shanmugam, P (2011). A new bio-optical algorithm for the remote sensing of algal blooms in complex ocean waters. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS, 116, C04016.

A new bio-optical algorithm has been developed to provide accurate assessments of chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration for detection and mapping of algal blooms from satellite data in optically complex waters, where the presence of suspended sediments and dissolved substances can interfere with phytoplankton signal and thus confound conventional band ratio algorithms. A global data set of concurrent measurements of pigment concentration and radiometric reflectance was compiled and used to develop this algorithm that uses the normalized water-leaving radiance ratios along with an algal bloom index (ABI) between three visible bands to determine Chl a concentrations. The algorithm is derived using Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor bands, and it is subsequently tuned to be applicable to Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)/Aqua data. When compared with large in situ data sets and satellite matchups in a variety of coastal and ocean waters the present algorithm makes good retrievals of the Chl a concentration and shows statistically significant improvement over current global algorithms (e. g., OC3 and OC4v4). An examination of the performance of these algorithms on several MODIS/Aqua images in complex waters of the Arabian Sea and west Florida shelf shows that the new algorithm provides a better means for detecting and differentiating algal blooms from other turbid features, whereas the OC3 algorithm has significant errors although yielding relatively consistent results in clear waters. These findings imply that, provided that an accurate atmospheric correction scheme is available to deal with complex waters, the current MODIS/Aqua, MERIS and OCM data could be extensively used for quantitative and operational monitoring of algal blooms in various regional and global waters.



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