Three independent ocean color sampling methodologies are compared to assess the potential impact of instrumental characteristics and environmental variability on shipboard remote-sensing reflectance observations from the Santa Barbara Channel, California. Results indicate that under typical field conditions, simultaneous determinations of incident irradiance can vary by 9–18%, upwelling radiance just above the sea surface by 8–18%, and remote-sensing reflectance by 12–24%. Variations in radiometric determinations can be attributed to a variety of environmental factors such as Sun angle, cloud cover, wind speed, and viewing geometry; however, wind speed is isolated as the major source of uncertainty. The above-water approach to estimating water-leaving radiance and remote-sensing reflectance is highly influenced by environmental factors. A model of the role of wind on the reflected sky radiance measured by an above-water sensor illustrates that, for clear-sky conditions and wind speeds greater than 5 m/s, determinations of water-leaving radiance at 490 nm are undercorrected by as much as 60%. A data merging procedure is presented to provide sky radiance correction parameters for above-water remote-sensing reflectance estimates. The merging results are consistent with statistical and model findings and highlight the importance of multiple field measurements in developing quality coastal oceanographic data sets for satellite ocean color algorithm development and validation.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 29, 1999
Revised Manuscript: October 8, 1999
Published: January 20, 2000
Dierdre A. Toole, David A. Siegel, David W. Menzies, Michael J. Neumann, and Raymond C. Smith, "Remote-sensing reflectance determinations in the coastal ocean environment: impact of instrumental characteristics and environmental variability," Appl. Opt. 39, 456-469 (2000)