Marine Science Faculty Publications

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Satellites, Algorithm development, Water, MODIS, Optical engineering, Satellite imaging, Ocean optics, Interfaces, Antennas, Standards development

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There is a pressing need to assess coastal and estuarine water quality state and anomaly events to facilitate coastal management, but such a need is hindered by lack of resources to conduct frequent ship-based or buoy-based measurements. Here, we established a virtual buoy system (VBS) to facilitate satellite data visualization and interpretation of water quality assessment. The VBS is based on a virtual antenna system (VAS) that obtains low-level satellite data and generates higher-level data products using both National Aeronautics and Space Administration standard algorithms and regionally customized algorithms in near real time. The VB stations are predefined and carefully chosen to cover water quality gradients in estuaries and coastal waters, where multiyear time series at monthly and weekly intervals are extracted for the following parameters: sea surface temperature (°C), chlorophyll-a concentration (mg m−3 ), turbidity (NTU), diffuse light attenuation at 490 nm [Kd(490) , m−1 ] or secchi disk depth (m), absorption coefficient of colored dissolved organic matter (m−1 ), and bottom available light (%). The time-series data are updated routinely and provided in both ASCII and graphical formats via a user-friendly web interface where all information is available to the user through a simple click. The VAS and VBS also provide necessary infrastructure to implement peer-reviewed regional algorithms to generate and share improved water quality data products with the user community.

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Optical Engineering, v. 53, issue 5, art. 051402

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