Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 9 (2014)

Using ocean colour remote sensing products to estimate turbidity at the Wadden Sea time series station Spiekeroog

S. P. Garaba, T. H. Badewien, A. Braun, A.-C. Schulz, O. Zielinski


Time series measurements at the Wadden Sea time series station Spiekeroog (WSS) in the southern North Sea were used to empirically develop approaches for determining turbidity from ocean colour remote sensing products (OCPs). Turbidity was observed by a submerged optical sensor. Radiometric quantities were collected using hyperspectral radiometers. Surface reflected glint correction was applied to the radiometric quantities to compute remote sensing reflectance (RRS) and the RRS was converted into perceived colour of seawater matching the Forel-Ule colour Index (FUI) scale. The empirical approaches for determining turbidity from OCPs showed good least squares linear correlations and statistical significance (R2 > 0.7, p < 0.001). These OCP approaches had relatively low uncertainties in predicting turbidity with encouraging mean absolute percent difference less than 31 %. The problem of bio-fouling on submerged sensors and the potential application of OCPs to monitor or correct for sensor drifts was evaluated. A protocol is proposed for the acquisition and processing of hyperspectral radiometric measurements at this optically complex station. Use of the classic FUI as a time series indicator of surface seawater changes did show promising results. The application of these OCPs in operational monitoring changes in water quality was also explored with the aim to evaluate the potential use of the WSS datasets in calibration and validation of satellite ocean colour remote sensing of these very turbid coastal waters.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2014.14020]

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