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Estimating the Augmented Reflectance Ratio of the Ocean Surface When Whitecaps Appear

State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China
Institute of Oceanographic Instrumentation, Shandong Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266001, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Raphael M. Kudela, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(10), 13606-13625;
Received: 3 August 2015 / Revised: 25 September 2015 / Accepted: 8 October 2015 / Published: 20 October 2015
PDF [1225 KB, uploaded 20 October 2015]


The presence of foam influences the accuracy of satellite-derived water-leaving radiance. A model has been developed to estimate the augmented reflectance ratio (A(λ,U)) due to differences in the fraction of whitecap coverage (w) on the ocean surface. A(λ,U) can be calculated from the product of w and ρ(λ,U), where ρ(λ,U) is the augmented ratio of the reflectance of background water (Rb(λ)) caused by the presence of whitecaps. Our results showed that the average A(400~700,U) in the visible region was approximately 1.3% at U = 9 m∙s−1, 2.2% at U = 10 m∙s−1, 4.4% at U = 12 m∙s−1, 7.4% at U = 14 m∙s−1, 19% at U = 19 m∙s−1 and 37.9% at U = 24 m∙s−1, making it is necessary to consider the augmented reflectance ratio for remote sensing applications. By estimating remote sensing augmented reflectance using A(λ,U), it was found that the result was in good agreement with previous studies conducted in other areas with U from 9 to 12 m∙s−1. Since Rb(λ) is temporally and spatially variable, our model considered the variation of Rb(λ), whereas existing models have assumed that Rb(λ) is constant. Therefore, the proposed model is more suitable for estimating the augmented reflectance ratio due to whitecaps. View Full-Text
Keywords: whitecaps; wind speed; remote sensing reflectance; augmented ratio whitecaps; wind speed; remote sensing reflectance; augmented ratio

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Xu, Z.; Zhou, W.; Sun, Z.; Yang, Y.; Lin, J.; Wang, G.; Cao, W.; Yang, Q. Estimating the Augmented Reflectance Ratio of the Ocean Surface When Whitecaps Appear. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 13606-13625.

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