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Sunlight induced chlorophyll a fluorescence (SICF) can be used as a probe to estimate chlorophyll a concentrations (Chl) and infer phytoplankton physiology. SICF at ∼685 nm has been widely applied to studies of natural waters. SICF around 740 nm has been demonstrated to cause a narrow reflectance peak at ∼761 nm in the reflectance spectra of terrestrial vegetation. This narrow peak has also been observed in the reflectance spectra of natural waters, but its mechanism and applications have not yet been investigated and it has often been treated as measurement artifacts. In this study, we aimed to interpret this reflectance peak at ∼761 nm and discuss its potential applications for remote monitoring of natural waters. A derivative analysis of the spectral reflectance suggests that the 761 nm peak is due to SICF. It was also found that the fluorescence line height (FLH) at 761 nm significantly and linearly correlates with Chl. FLH(761 nm) showed a tighter relationship with Chl than the relationship between FLH(∼685 nm) and Chl mainly due to weaker perturbations by nonalgal materials around 761 nm. While it is not conclusive, a combination of FLH(761 nm) and FLH(∼685 nm) might have some potentials to discriminate cyanobacteria from other phytoplankton due to their different fluorescence responses at the two wavelengths. It was further found that reflectance spectra with a 5 nm spectral resolution are adequate to capture the spectral SICF feature at ∼761 nm. These preliminary results suggest that FLH(761 nm) need to be explored more for future applications in optically complex coastal and inland waters.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, v. 121, issue 7, p. 5017-5029

©2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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