Feng, C; Ishizaka, J; Saitoh, K; Mine, T; Yamashita, H (2020). A Novel Method Based on Backscattering for Discriminating Summer Blooms of the Raphidophyte (Chattonella spp.) and the Diatom (Skeletonema spp.) Using MODIS Images in Ariake Sea, Japan. REMOTE SENSING, 12(9), 1504.

The raphidophyte Chattonella spp. and diatom Skeletonema spp. are the dominant harmful algal species of summer blooms in Ariake Sea, Japan. A new bio-optical algorithm based on backscattering features has been developed to differentiate harmful raphidophyte blooms from diatom blooms using MODIS imagery. Bloom waters were first discriminated from other water types based on the distinct spectral shape of the remote sensing reflectance R-rs(lambda) data derived from MODIS. Specifically, bloom waters were discriminated by the positive value of Spectral Shape, SS (645), which arises from the R-rs(lambda) shoulder at 645 nm in bloom waters. Next, the higher cellular-specific backscattering coefficient, estimated from MODIS data and quasi-analytical algorithm (QAA) of raphidophyte, Chattonella spp., was utilized to discriminate it from blooms of the diatom, Skeletonema spp. A new index b(bp-index)(555) was calculated based on a semi-analytical bio-optical model to discriminate the two algal groups. This index, combined with a supplemental Red Band Ratio (RBR) index, effectively differentiated the two bloom types. Validation of the method was undertaken using MODIS satellite data coincident with confirmed bloom observations from local field surveys, which showed that the newly developed method, based on backscattering features, could successfully discriminate the raphidophyte Chattonella spp. from the diatom Skeletonema spp. and thus provide reliable information on the spatial distribution of harmful blooms in Ariake Sea.