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SeaWiFS data analysis and match-ups with in situ chlorophyll concentrations in Danish waters

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For the year 1999 all Sea viewing Wide Field of view Sensor (SeaWiFS) scenes of the Danish waters from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea were browsed, and a total of 47 SeaWiFS scenes with reasonably low cloud cover and, therefore, potential in situ match-ups were found and processed. The in situ data used as match-ups were collected on routine monitoring cruises by Danish and Swedish environmental authorities. A few stations in the North Sea, Skagerak and the western Baltic Sea were sampled, while most stations were located in Kattegat and the inner Danish waters. A turbid water SeaWiFS atmospheric correction algorithm was applied, since the standard SeaWiFS algorithm for chlorophyll-a (CHL) has been shown to be fairly inaccurate in turbid coastal waters. This is due to both inaccurate atmospheric and to relatively high and variable abundance of yellow substance. The application of the turbid atmospheric correction substantially improved the SeaWiFS CHL estimates. Regressions between SeaWiFS estimates using the OC2 and OC4 algorithms used in the SeaDAS software (versions 3.3 and 4.0, respectively) and in situ CHL values were made as well, and regression with a number of other possible reflectance ratios with SeaWiFS channels. The best correlation was found to be R2=0.54 using a double-ratio algorithm using both R510/R555 and R443/R670, while the OC4v4 had the second best correlation of R2=0.39. Among other single ratios, the R510/R555 had the highest correlation with CHL, which was expected since this is also the ratio that OC4v4 most often switches to in the waters investigated here. The range of CHL concentrations in this study was rather limited (all but three points from 0.5-3 mg m−3) so there is a need for inclusion of more data to expand the concentration range. This should be possible using also data from 2000, 2001 and onwards and, hereafter, a more 'stable' empirical algorithm can be derived for the Danish waters.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) Lyngbyvej 100 2100 Copenhagen O Denmark, Email:

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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