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J Geophys Res Oceans. 2016 Mar;121(3):1953-1969. doi: 10.1002/2015JC011415. Epub 2016 Mar 26.

Spectral slopes of the absorption coefficient of colored dissolved and detrital material inverted from UV-visible remote sensing reflectance.

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Optical Oceanography Laboratory, School for the Environment, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
NOAA/NESDIS Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, College Park, Maryland, USA.
Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA.
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, The City College of New York, New York, New York, USA.
Bio-optical Oceanography Laboratory, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, USA.


The spectral slope of the absorption coefficient of colored dissolved and detrital material (CDM), Scdm (units: nm-1), is an important optical parameter for characterizing the absorption spectral shape of CDM. Although highly variable in natural waters, in most remote sensing algorithms, this slope is either kept as a constant or empirically modeled with multiband ocean color in the visible domain. In this study, we explore the potential of semianalytically retrieving Scdm with added ocean color information in the ultraviolet (UV) range between 360 and 400 nm. Unique features of hyperspectral remote sensing reflectance in the UV-visible wavelengths (360-500 nm) have been observed in various waters across a range of coastal and open ocean environments. Our data and analyses indicate that ocean color in the UV domain is particularly sensitive to the variation of the CDM spectral slope. Here, we used a synthesized data set to show that adding UV wavelengths to the ocean color measurements will improve the retrieval of Scdm from remote sensing reflectance considerably, while the spectral band settings of past and current satellite ocean color sensors cannot fully account for the spectral variation of remote sensing reflectance. Results of this effort support the concept to include UV wavelengths in the next generation of satellite ocean color sensors.

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