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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(4), 684-707; doi:10.3390/rs3040684

MERIS Retrieval of Water Quality Components in the Turbid Albemarle-Pamlico Sound Estuary, USA

1
National Exposure Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Research Council, 109 TW Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
2
National Exposure Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, 109 TW Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
3
Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Morehead City, NC 28557, USA
Department of Life Sciences, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX 78412, USA.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2011 / Revised: 14 March 2011 / Accepted: 18 March 2011 / Published: 1 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Coastal Ecosystem)
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Abstract

Two remote-sensing optical algorithms for the retrieval of the water quality components (WQCs) in the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System (APES) were developed and validated for chlorophyll a (Chl). Both algorithms were semi-empirical because they incorporated some elements of optical processes in the atmosphere, water, and air/water interface. One incorporated a very simple atmospheric correction and modified quasi-single-scattering approximation (QSSA) for estimating the spectral Gordon’s parameter, and the second estimated WQCs directly from the top of atmosphere satellite radiance without atmospheric corrections. A modified version of the Global Meteorological Database for Solar Energy and Applied Meteorology (METEONORM) was used to estimate directional atmospheric transmittances. The study incorporated in situ Chl data from the Ferry-Based Monitoring (FerryMon) program collected in the Neuse River Estuary (n = 633) and Pamlico Sound (n = 362), along with Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) satellite imagery collected (2006–2009) across the APES; providing quasi-coinciding samples for Chl algorithm development and validation. Results indicated a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.70 and mean-normalized root-mean-squares errors (NRMSE) of 52% in the Neuse River Estuary and R2 = 0.44 (NRMSE = 75 %) in the Pamlico Sound—without atmospheric corrections. The simple atmospheric correction tested provided on performance improvements. Algorithm performance demonstrated the potential for supporting long-term operational WQCs satellite monitoring in the APES.
Keywords: water quality; optical retrieval algorithms; MERIS imagery; estuary system water quality; optical retrieval algorithms; MERIS imagery; estuary system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sokoletsky, L.G.; Lunetta, R.S.; Wetz, M.S.; Paerl, H.W. MERIS Retrieval of Water Quality Components in the Turbid Albemarle-Pamlico Sound Estuary, USA. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 684-707.

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