Estimating Phycocyanin Pigment Concentration in Productive Inland Waters using Landsat Measurements: A Case Study in Lake Dianchi

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Using remote sensing reflectance (Rrs(λ), sr−1) and phycocyanin (PC, mg m−3) pigment data as well as other bio-optical data collected from two cruises in September and December 2009 in Lake Dianchi (a typical plateau lake of China), we developed a practical approach to estimate PC concentrations that could be applied directly to Landsat measurements. The visible and near-IR bands as well as their band ratios of simulated Landsat data were used as inputs to the algorithms, where the algorithm coefficients for each Landsat sensor were determined through multivariate regressions. The coefficients of determination (R2) between the Rrs-modeled and measured PC were all > 0.97 for the spectral bands corresponding to Landsat 8 OLI, Landsat 7 ETM + , Landsat 5 TM, and Landsat 4 TM, with mean absolute percentage errors (MAPE) < 10% for PC ranging between ~80 and 700 mg m−3 (n = 14). The algorithms were further evaluated using an independent data set (n = 14), yielding larger but still acceptable MAPE (~30%) for PC ranging between ~80 and 500 mg m−3. Application of the approach to Landsat 8 measurements over Lake Dianchi suggests potential use of the approach for periodical assessment of the lake’s bloom conditions, yet its empirical nature together with the lack of specific narrow bands on Landsat sensors to explicitly account for the PC absorption around 625 nm calls for extra caution when applied to other eutrophic lakes.

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Optics Express, v. 23, issue 3, p. 3055-3074