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Monitoring water quality in Florida Bay with remotely sensed salinity and in situ bio-optical observations

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Water quality variables were examined in Florida Bay, an ecologically sensitive ecosystem, in a pilot monitoring effort using remotely sensed sea surface salinity and in situ bio-optical observations. An airborne scanning low frequency microwave radiometer provided the first fine spatial resolution description of the surface salinity field in Florida Bay, USA. Low salinity levels to the north and central region of the Bay indicated freshwater inflows from the Everglades, while marine conditions influenced by the Gulf of Mexico waters prevailed in the western (outer) region of the Bay. Bio-optical variables such as chlorophyll a, suspended solids, coloured dissolved organic matter (yellow substance) and remote sensing reflectance exhibited different distribution patterns in the low and high salinity regions of the Bay. The results demonstrate the importance of salinity measurements in delineating diverse bio-optical regimes to aid the development of regional ocean colour remote sensing algorithms for coastal waters.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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