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«Remote estimation of chlorophyll concentration in productive waters: Principals, algorithm development and validation A.A. Gitelson, Y.Z. Yacobi, D. ...»

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Satellite carried sensor future options A major and unresolved issue is determining whether our findings from high spectral resolution radiometer measurements, obtained at close range, can be applied to satellite sensors with limited spectral resolution. Global maps of algal density (i.e., Chl a) in the oceans were achieved using wide band sensors and/or a small number of narrower channels appropriate for phytoplankton sensing (i.e. the CZCS and SeaWiFS). We infer from our work that the spectral requirements for Chl estimation are quite restricted, and use of an instrument with several narrow (10-20 nm) spectral channels in the red and near infrared ranges should be sufficient. We suggest that an optimum configuration would include channels centered at 600, 625, 650 nm (accessory pigments), 670 nm (Chl absorption and reference for baseline), 685 nm (Chl fluorescence), 700 nm (NIR peak position), and 750 nm (reference for base line). Near future narrow band satellite sensors offer better capability to detect phytoplankton pigments: MERIS (ESA) and MODIS (NASA) aimed to monitor photosynthetic pigments in vegetation and aquatic environments, and its spectral channels (especially of MERIS) coincide in certain degree with the significant spectral features of water constituents in inland waters (Fig. 8). These sensors include spectral channels for atmospheric corrections that is mandatory for monitoring of inland water quality from space.

Fig. 8: Typical reflectance spectrum of productive inland waters and the location of the bands of MERIS system.

In order to harness the satellite acquired data for water quality monitoring several steps of operation are


• adjustment of algorithms for Chl estimation, developed by the use of high-resolution spectroradiometers at ground level, to the capabilities offered by satellite-carried sensors;

• establishment of a routine for satellite image acquisition, processing and analysis, including geometrical and atmospheric corrections of the images, and selection of the relevant optical information;

• validation of the satellite data by ground observations in diverse aquatic productive ecosystems.

Acknowledgments This work was supported by grants from the Israel National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Water Commissioner's Office, Israel Ministry of Science and from the US-Israel Bi-national Science Foundation (BSF Grant No. 94-00087/1).

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