The OLI (Operational Land Imager) sensor on Landsat-8 has the potential to meet the requirements of remote sensing of water color. However, the optical properties of inland waters are more complex than those of oceanic waters, and inland atmospheric correction presents additional challenges. We examined the performance of atmospheric correction (AC) methods for remote sensing over three highly turbid or hypereutrophic inland waters in China: Lake Hongze, Lake Chaohu, and Lake Taihu. Four water-AC algorithms (SWIR (Short Wave Infrared), EXP (Exponential Extrapolation), DSF (Dark Spectrum Fitting), and MUMM (Management Unit Mathematics Models)) and three land-AC algorithms (FLAASH (Fast Line-of-sight Atmospheric Analysis of Spectral Hypercubes), 6SV (a version of Second Simulation of the Satellite Signal in the Solar Spectrum), and QUAC (Quick Atmospheric Correction)) were assessed using Landsat-8 OLI data and concurrent in situ data. The results showed that the EXP (and DSF) together with 6SV algorithms provided the best estimates of the remote sensing reflectance (Rrs
) and band ratios in water-AC algorithms and land-AC algorithms, respectively. AC algorithms showed a discriminating accuracy for different water types (turbid waters, in-water algae waters, and floating bloom waters). For turbid waters, EXP gave the best Rrs
in visible bands. For the in-water algae and floating bloom waters, however, all water-algorithms failed due to an inappropriate aerosol model and non-zero reflectance at 1609 nm. The results of the study show the improvements that can be achieved considering SWIR bands and using band ratios, and the need for further development of AC algorithms for complex aquatic and atmospheric conditions, typical of inland waters.
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