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Variability in spectral backscatter estimated from satellites and its relation to in situ measurements in optically complex coastal waters

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A large database of in situ bio-optical measurements was collected at the Long-term Ecosystem Observatory off the southern coast of New Jersey, USA. In part, the research effort focused on reconciling in situ estimates with satellite-derived estimates of the inherent optical properties (IOP). At 442 nm, in situ absorption values ranged from less than 0.2 to over 1.5 inverse metres. Satellite estimates of backscatter ranged from 0.002 to 0.03 inverse metres at 442 nm and showed significant variability in time and space during July 1999, reflecting the recurrent high frequency events that characterize the region--wind-mixing, storms and coastal upwelling. Despite this variability, there was good qualitative agreement between the satellite derived IOP estimates and in situ IOP measurements. Both absorption and backscatter values increased near-shore, reflecting enhanced concentrations of phytoplankton, sediments and dissolved organic matter.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Biological Sciences Department California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo CA 93407 USA 2: Naval Research Laboratory Stennis Space Center MS 39529 USA 3: Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ 08901 USA

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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