National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1980

Upwelled spectral radiance distribution in relation to particulate matter in sea water

Clark, D.K., E.T. Baker, and A.E. Strong

Bound.-Lay. Meteorol., 18(3), 287–298, doi: 10.1007/BF00122025 (1980)

Spectral analysis of water color and concurrent measurements of the relative concentration of various particulate and dissolved constituents within a broad range of water types are necessary to quantify ocean color observations and successfully relate them to various biological and physical processes that can be monitored by remote sensing. Some of the results of a Nimbus-G prelaunch cruise in connection with the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) experiment, which was carried out in the Gulf of Mexico in October 1977, are presented and discussed. Based upon a small but diverse sample of near surface measurements, it appears possible to estimate total suspended particulate matter (SPM) to useful accuracies by forming ratios of the spectral radiances measured at wavelengths falling near the centers of certain CZCS bands, viz., 440 nm: 550 nm and 440 nm: 520 nm. Furthermore, the analysis suggests a very high degree of covariation between SPM and phytoplankton pigments except for certain well-defined special cases.

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