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Appl Opt. 2003 May 20;42(15):2623-34.

Remote-sensing reflectance of turbid sediment-dominated waters. Reduction of sediment type variations and changing illumination conditions effects by use of reflectance ratios.

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  • 1Département de Géologie et Océanographie, Université Bordeaux 1, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5805-Environnements et Paléoenvironnements Océaniques, Avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence cedex, France.


Variations of sediment type (grain size and refractive index) and changing illumination conditions affect the reflectance signal of coastal waters and limit the accuracy of sediment-concentration estimations from remote-sensing measurements. These effects are analyzed from numerous in situ remote-sensing measurements carried out in the Gironde and Loire Estuaries and then reduced and partly eliminated when reflectance ratios between the near infrared and the visible are considered. These ratios showed high correlation with the sediment concentration. On the basis of the obtained relationships, performing correspondence functions were established that allow an accurate estimation of suspended sediments in the estuaries from Système Probatoire d'Observation de la Terre, Landsat, and Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor data, independently of the date of acquisition.

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