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Suspended sediment and chlorophyll-a monitoring using ocean colour satellite data

Result description:
Ocean colour satellite data are already used for some time to determine chlorophyll and suspended sediment concentrations near the surface of the open oceans. SeaDAS software from NASA can be used to analyse SeawiFS and MODIS data for this purpose. Advances in correction for aerosol over turbid waters by MUMM (Belgium) have made it possible to do this also for coastal waters. Based on SIOP data from Rijkswaterstaat AGI (Netherlands), ARGOSS developed an analytical inversion method to derive concentrations of different constituents simultaneously from the water-leaving radiances estimated from the data.

It was applied in OROMA to several sites in the North Sea and Baltic. The analytical method was tested and compared with alternative approaches by Rijkswaterstaat AGI. The results were published in a report and a paper. All the methods mentioned are implemented in an efficient software environment built around SeaDAS, which makes it possible to analyse large datasets efficiently. Some advantages of an analytical method over empirical algorithms are: a single model can be used for different (combinations of) constituents, it can be adapted to a different region by entering the appropriate SIOP data without developing a new algorithm, and it can be applied with general non-linear bio-optical models.

Current status: tested, applied to a long dataset of SEAWiFS images, now work is in progress to use MODIS data of various bands/resolutions for retrieving water quality data. High spatial resolution is a requirement for use in environmental monitoring of activities related to dredging.

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