On the potential of MODIS and MERIS for imaging chlorophyll fluorescence from space
The first images from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) are now being used to evaluate information on the in vivo fluorescence peak near 685 nm from chlorophyll-a, stimulated by sunlight. The Fluorescence Line Imager (FLI) airborne imaging spectrometer was used in the 1980s to demonstrate the mapping of this signal from an aircraft, showing that it gave significant rejection of confusing signals from atmospheric radiance. For imaging from space, a major limitation is sensor sensitivity, which tends to restrict imaging to relatively high concentrations under good solar illumination. Noise-equivalent chlorophyll concentrations for MODIS and MERIS (Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) have been estimated as 0.07 and 0.1 mg m−3, respectively, under zenith Sun, clear sky conditions. Although MERIS has slightly poorer sensitivity, it has the advantage of flexible band placing and presence of a band at 709 nm in the baseline band-set that allows better definition of the continuum spectrum above which fluorescence is measured. This band should also allow detection of bright plankton blooms (red-tide events) through the peak radiance near 709 nm caused by a combination of in-water scattering and absorption.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-04-01