Retrieval of suspended particulate matter from turbidity – model development, validation, and application to MERIS data over the Baltic Sea.

Kari, Elina, Kratzer, Susanne, Beltrán-Abaunza, José M., Harvey, E. Therese and Vaičiūtė, Diana (2016) Retrieval of suspended particulate matter from turbidity – model development, validation, and application to MERIS data over the Baltic Sea. Open Access International Journal of Remote Sensing . pp. 1-21. DOI 10.1080/01431161.2016.1230289.

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Abstract

Suspended particulate matter (SPM) causes most of the scattering in natural waters and thus has a strong influence on the underwater light field, and consequently on the whole ecosystem. Turbidity is related to the concentration of SPM which usually is measured gravimetrically, a rather time-consuming method. Measuring turbidity is quick and easy, and therefore also more cost-effective. When derived from remote sensing data the method becomes even more cost-effective because of the good spatial resolution of satellite data and the synoptic capability of the method. Turbidity is also listed in the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive as a supporting monitoring parameter, especially in the coastal zone. In this study, we aim to provide a new Baltic Sea algorithm to retrieve SPM concentration from in situ turbidity and investigate how this can be applied to satellite data. An in situ dataset was collected in Swedish coastal waters to develop a new SPM model. The model was then tested against independent datasets from both Swedish and Lithuanian coastal waters. Despite the optical variability in the datasets, SPM and turbidity were strongly correlated (r = 0.97). The developed model predicts SPM reliably from in situ turbidity (R2 = 0.93) with a mean normalized bias (MNB) of 2.4% for the Swedish and 14.0% for the Lithuanian datasets, and a relative error (RMS) of 25.3% and 37.3%, respectively. In the validation dataset, turbidity ranged from 0.3 to 49.8 FNU (Formazin Nephelometric Unit) and correspondingly, SPM concentration ranged from 0.3 to 34.0 g m–3 which covers the ranges typical for Baltic Sea waters. Next, the medium-resolution imaging spectrometer (MERIS) standard SPM product MERIS Ground Segment (MEGS) was tested on all available match-up data (n = 67). The correlation between SPM retrieved from MERIS and in situ SPM was strong for the Swedish dataset with r = 0.74 (RMS = 47.4 and MNB = 11.3%; n = 32) and very strong for the Lithuanian dataset with r = 0.94 (RMS = 29.5% and MNB = −1.5%; n = 35). Then, the turbidity was derived from the MERIS standard SPM product using the new in situ SPM model, but retrieving turbidity from SPM instead. The derived image was then compared to existing in situ data and showed to be in the right range of values for each sub-area. The new SPM model provides a robust and cost-efficient method to determine SPM from in situ turbidity measurements (or vice versa). The developed SPM model predicts SPM concentration with high quality despite the high coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) range in the Baltic Sea. By applying the developed SPM model to already existing remote sensing data (MERIS/Envisat) and most importantly to a new generation of satellite sensors (in particular OLCI on board the Sentinel-3), it is possible to derive turbidity for the Baltic Sea.

Document Type: Article
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1080/01431161.2016.1230289
ISSN: 0143-1161
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2017 14:00
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 14:00
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/35968

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