Spectral Analysis of Bulk Reflectance from Coastal Waters: Deconvolution of Diffuse Spectra Due to Scattering and Absorption by Coastal Water


  • M. Sydor
  • A. M. Thralow


Ocean optics, remote sensing, diffuse reflectance spectra, volume absorption coefficient, volume scattering coefficient


We apply routine techniques of diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to establish a systematic procedure for global analysis of the in situ reflectance from coastal water over the 400-900 nm region of the spectrum. Our technique relies on a sequential multi-parameter fit to the reflectance in the 750-900, ~600, ~400, and ~676 nm wavelength regions of the spectrum where the bulk reflectance from coastal water can be linked to the inherent optical properties of its main constituents: pure water, inorganic suspended solids, dissolved organic matter, and phytoplankton pigment. Using in situ reflectance alone, we are able to estimate the volume scattering coefficient from suspended particles and determine the volume absorption coefficients due to inorganic particles, dissolved organic matter, and phytoplankton pigment. The predicted results for the total absorption and scattering agree within 15%, of the measured values for the Mississippi Sound, Lake Superior, and Great Bay, New Jersey.