Marine Science Faculty Publications

Bio-optical Water Quality Dynamics Observed from MERIS in Pensacola Bay, Florida

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Bio-optical water quality, Estuary, Remote sensing, MERIS, Pensacola bay

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Observed bio-optical water quality data collected from 2009 to 2011 in Pensacola Bay, Florida were used to develop empirical remote sensing retrieval algorithms for chlorophyll a (Chla), colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and suspended particulate matter (SPM). Time-series of the three bio-optical water quality variables were generated from MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) observations from 2003 to 2011. Bio-optical water quality in this estuary exhibited spatial and temporal variations that were correlated to river discharge and wind. Both annual mean and monthly mean bio-optical water quality variables were positively correlated to river discharge. Monthly mean bio-optical water quality variables were also positively correlated to wind speed and wind density (defined by the number of days with daily mean wind speed > 3 m s−1 in a month) over this estuary. These results indicate that bio-optical water quality dynamics in this estuary are vulnerable to changes in river discharge and river constituent loads and local weather conditions such as winter storms and hurricanes.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, v. 173, p. 26-38