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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 52, Iss. 18 — Jun. 20, 2013
  • pp: 4249–4257

Approach for determining the contributions of phytoplankton, colored organic material, and nonalgal particles to the total spectral absorption in marine waters

Junfang Lin, Wenxi Cao, Guifeng Wang, and Shuibo Hu  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 52, Issue 18, pp. 4249-4257 (2013)

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Using a data set of 1333 samples, we assess the spectral absorption relationships of different wave bands for phytoplankton (ph) and particles. We find that a nonlinear model (second-order quadratic equations) delivers good performance in describing their spectral characteristics. Based on these spectral relationships, we develop a method for partitioning the total absorption coefficient into the contributions attributable to phytoplankton [ a ph ( λ ) ] , colored dissolved organic material [CDOM; a CDOM ( λ ) ], and nonalgal particles [NAP; a NAP ( λ ) ]. This method is validated using a data set that contains 550 simultaneous measurements of phytoplankton, CDOM, and NAP from the NASA bio-Optical Marine Algorithm Dataset. We find that our method is highly efficient and robust, with significant accuracy: the relative root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) are 25.96%, 38.30%, and 19.96% for a ph ( 443 ) , a CDOM ( 443 ) , and the CDOM exponential slope, respectively. The performance is still satisfactory when the method is applied to water samples from the northern South China Sea as a regional case. The computed and measured absorption coefficients (167 samples) agree well with the RMSEs, i.e., 18.50%, 32.82%, and 10.21% for a ph ( 443 ) , a CDOM ( 443 ) , and the CDOM exponential slope, respectively. Finally, the partitioning method is applied directly to an independent data set (1160 samples) derived from the Bermuda Bio-Optics Project that contains relatively low absorption values, and we also obtain good inversion accuracy [RMSEs of 32.37%, 32.57%, and 11.52% for a ph ( 443 ) , a CDOM ( 443 ) , and the CDOM exponential slope, respectively]. Our results indicate that this partitioning method delivers satisfactory performance for the retrieval of a ph , a CDOM , and a NAP . Therefore, this may be a useful tool for extracting absorption coefficients from in situ measurements or remotely sensed ocean-color data.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(010.1030) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Absorption
(010.0280) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Remote sensing and sensors

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: January 16, 2013
Revised Manuscript: April 11, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: May 2, 2013
Published: June 14, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 7 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Junfang Lin, Wenxi Cao, Guifeng Wang, and Shuibo Hu, "Approach for determining the contributions of phytoplankton, colored organic material, and nonalgal particles to the total spectral absorption in marine waters," Appl. Opt. 52, 4249-4257 (2013)

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