Marine Science Faculty Publications

Estimation of Colored Dissolved Organic Matter and Salinity Fields in Case 2 Waters Using Sea Wifs: Examples from Florida Bay and Florida Shelf

Document Type


Publication Date



Atmospheric correction, CDOM, Chlorophyll a, Remote sensing, Salinity, Sea WiFS

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Estimates of water quality variables such as chlorophyll a concentration (Chl), colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), or salinity from satellite sensors are of great interest to resource managers monitoring coastal regions such as the Florida Bay and the Florida Shelf. However, accurate estimates of these variables using standard ocean color algorithms have been difficult due to the complex nature of the light field in these environments. In this study, we process Sea WiFS satellite data using two recently developed algorithms; one for atmospheric correction and the other a semi-analytic bio-optical algorithm and compare the results with standard SeaWiFS algorithms. Overall, the two algorithms produced more realistic estimates of Chl and CDOM distributions in Florida Shelf and Bay waters. Estimates of surface salinity were obtained from the CDOM absorption field assuming a conservative mixing behavior of these waters. A comparison of SeaWiFS-derived Chl and CDOM absorption with field measurements in the Florida Bay indicated that although well correlated, CDOM was underestimated, while Chl was overestimated. Bottom reflectance appeared to affect these estimates at the shallow central Bay stations during the winter. These results demonstrate the need for new bio-optical algorithms or tuning of the parameters used in the bio-optical algorithm for local conditions encountered in the Bay.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Earth and Planetary Sciences, v. 111, issue 3, p. 197-207