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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 15 — Jul. 20, 2009
  • pp: 12246–12258

Cloud masking of SeaWiFS images over coastal waters using spectral variability

Karin Nordkvist, Hubert Loisel, and Lucile Duforêt Gaurier  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 15, pp. 12246-12258 (2009)

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Cloud masks developed in the frame of ocean color missions are usually based on the assumption that the marine reflectance is close to zero in the near-infrared (NIR). This is valid over the open ocean, but coastal (Case-2) waters may have a higher NIR reflectance due to suspended matter and non-maritime aerosols. Cloud-free pixels are sometimes classed as clouds, leading to a loss of data. We present an algorithm, based on standard ocean color wavelengths, that makes use of the lower spectral variability of clouds compared to water. Images from different coastal areas have been used to develop and test the algorithm and a radiative transfer model has been used for a numerical sensitivity analysis. The algorithm shows a good performance in many of the tested scenes, and using this algorithm instead of the standard SeaWiFS NIR threshold will increase the amount of data over Case-2 waters.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(010.1615) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Clouds
(280.4991) Remote sensing and sensors : Passive remote sensing
(010.0280) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Remote sensing and sensors

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: February 10, 2009
Revised Manuscript: May 8, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: May 19, 2009
Published: July 6, 2009

Karin Nordkvist, Hubert Loisel, and Lucile D. Gaurier, "Cloud masking of SeaWiFS images over coastal waters using spectral variability," Opt. Express 17, 12246-12258 (2009)

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