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The atmospheric correction of water colour and the quantitative retrieval of suspended particulate matter in Case II waters: application to MERIS

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The remote sensing of turbid waters (Case II) using the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) requires new approaches for atmospheric correction of the data. Unlike the open ocean (Case I waters) there are no wavelengths where the water-leaving radiance is zero. A coupled hydrological atmospheric model is described here. The model solves the water-leaving radiance and atmospheric path radiance in the near-infrared (NIR) over Case II turbid waters. The theoretical basis of this model is described, together with its place in the proposed MERIS processing architecture. Flagging procedures are presented that allow seamless correction of both Case I waters, using conventional models, and Case II waters using the proposed model. Preliminary validation of the model over turbid waters in the Humber estuary, UK is presented using Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) imagery to simulate the MERIS satellite sensor. The results presented show that the atmospheric correction scheme has superior performance over the standard single scattering approach, which assumes that water-leaving radiance in the NIR is zero. Despite problems of validating data in such highly dynamic tidal waters, the results show that retrievals of sediments within 50% are possible from algorithms derived from the theoretical models.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-06-15

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