- Region-specific optical remote sensing for coastal zone applications

Context and objectives

1. To improve the bio-optical algorithms used in the ocean colour model existing at MUMM by incorporating the latest theoretical advances and by performing a calibration of the model specific to the Belgian coastal zone. This calibration is based on sets of inherent optical properties and corresponding water constituents measured in a series of seaborne campaigns.

2. To improve the use of the ocean colour products and to enhance the processing chain by incorporating the characteristics of new sensors (MODIS, MERIS, etc).

3. To prepare higher level products combining satellite imagery, in situ measurements and/or the results from mathematical models, and to tailor such higher level products to the needs of already-identified end-users.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

The fundamental research undertaken within this project has lead to the following achievements and conclusions:

  • NASA’s standard algorithm for the atmospheric correction of SeaWiFS data (Gordon and Wang, 1994) has been extended to turbid waters and has been distributed to researchers abroad via MUMM’s web site.
  • Algorithms allowing the computation of Total Suspended Matter (TSM) concentration maps from SeaWiFS and SPOT images have been developed
  • Algorithms making use of the increased spectral resolution of upcoming sensors have been developed. Those algorithms should realistically improve the possibiliy of deriving chlorophyll-a concentration maps from satellite imagery of turbid waters.
  • A combination of spectrophotometric and spectrofluorimetric methods were employed to characterise the absorption coefficients of phytoplankton, TSM and CDOM in Belgian coastal waters.