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Opt Express. 2015 Jan 12;23(1):33-54. doi: 10.1364/OE.23.000033.

CDOM-DOC relationship in contrasted coastal waters: implication for DOC retrieval from ocean color remote sensing observation.


Increasing our knowledge on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) spatio-temporal distribution in the coastal ocean represents a crucial challenge for better understanding the role of these ecosystems in the global oceanic carbon cycle. The assessment of DOC concentration from the absorption properties of the colored part of the dissolved organic matter (a(cdom)) was investigated from an extensive data set covering a variety of coastal environments. Our results confirmed that variation in the a(cdom)(412) to DOC ratio (a*(cdom)(412)) can be depicted from the CDOM spectral slope in the UV domain (S(275-295)). They also evidenced that regional first order variation in both a*(cdom)(412) and S(275-295) are highly correlated to variation in a(cdom)(412). From these observations, generalized relationships for estimating a*(cdom)(412) from S(275-295) or a(cdom)(412) were parameterized from our development sites (N = 158; English Channel, French Guiana, Hai Phong Bay) and tested against an independent data set covering others coastal regions (N = 223; French Polynesia, Rhone River estuary, Gulf of Maine, Chesapeake Bay, Southern Middle Atlantic Bight) demonstrating the possibility to derive DOC estimates from in situ CDOM optical properties with an average accuracy of ~16% over very contrasted coastal environments (with DOC ranging from 50 to 250 µmol.L(-1)). The applicability of these generalized approaches was evaluated in the context of ocean color remote sensing observation emphasizing the limits of S(275-295)-based formulations and the potential for a(cdom)-based approaches to represent a compelling alternative for assessing synoptic DOC distribution.


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