Color of seawater has become an integral tool in understanding surface marine ecosystems and processes. In this paper we seek to assess the correlations and consequently the potential of using shipborne remote sensing products to infer marine environmental parameters. Typical seawater parameters are chlorophyll–a (chl–a
), colored dissolved organic material (CDOM), suspended particulate material (SPM), Secchi–disk depth (SDD), temperature, and salinity. These parameters and radiometric quantities were observed from a total of 60 stations covering German Bight, North Sea, Inner Seas, Irish Sea, and Celtic Sea. Bio-optical models developed in this study were used to predict the in situ
measured parameters, with low mean unbiased percent differences and absolute percent difference less than 35%. Our investigations show that the use of ocean color products namely the Forel–Ule Index to infer seawater parameters is encouraging. The constrained spatial and temporal span of measured in situ
parameters does limit the accuracy of our models. Absorption coefficients of the main color producing agents CDOM, chl–a
, and inorganic fraction of SPM (iSPM) were determined to estimate absorption budgets. During the field campaign, iSPM was the primary light absorber over the spectral range (400–700 nm) although variabilities were observed in the regional seas.