The European Space Agency’s Copernicus satellites Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 provide observations with high spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution which can be used to monitor inland and coastal waters. Such waters are optically complex, and the water color may vary from completely clear to dark brown. The main factors influencing water color are colored dissolved organic matter, phytoplankton, and suspended sediments. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the use of the optical water type (OWT) classification in the remote sensing of ocean color. Such classification helps to clarify relationships between different properties inside a certain class and quantify variation between classes. In this study, we present a new OWT classification based on the in situ measurements of reflectance spectra for boreal region lakes and coastal areas without extreme optical conditions. This classification divides waters into five OWT (Clear, Moderate, Turbid, Very Turbid, and Brown) and shows that different OWTs have different remote sensing reflectance spectra and that each OWT is associated with a specific bio-optical condition. Developed OWTs are distinguishable by both the MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) and the Ocean and Land Color Instrument (OLCI) sensors, and the accuracy of the OWT assignment was 95% for both the MSI and OLCI bands. To determine OWT from MSI images, we tested different atmospheric correction (AC) processors, namely ACOLITE, C2RCC, POLYMER, and Sen2Cor and for OLCI images, we tested AC processors ALTNNA, C2RCC, and L2. The C2RCC AC processor was the most accurate and reliable for use with MSI and OLCI images to estimate OWTs.
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