A comparison between local and global spaceborne chlorophyll indices in the St. Lawrence Estuary

Martin A. Montes-Hugo, Luca Fiorani, Salvatore Marullo, Suzanne Roy, Jean-Pierre Gagné, Rodolfo Borelli, Serge Demers, Antonio Palucci

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Spaceborne chlorophyll indices based on red fluorescence (wavelength = 680 nm) and water leaving radiance (Lw) in the visible spectrum (i.e., 400-700 nm) were evaluated in the St Lawrence Estuary (SLE) during September of 2011. Relationships between chlorophyll concentration (chl) and fluorescence were constructed based on fluorescence line height (FLH) measurements derived from a compact laser-based spectrofluorometer developed by ENEA (CASPER) and using spectral bands corresponding to the satellite sensor MERIS (MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer). Chlorophyll concentration as estimated from CASPER (chlCASPER) was relatively high NE of the MTZ (upper Estuary), and nearby areas influenced by fronts or freshwater plumes derived from secondary rivers (lower estuary). These findings agree with historical shipboard measurements. In general, global chl products calculated from Lwhad large biases (up to 27-fold overestimation and 50-fold underestimation) with respect to chlCASPERvalues. This was attributed to the smaller interference of detritus (mineral + organic non-living particulates) and chromophoric dissolved organic matter on chlCASPER estimates. We encourage the use of spectrofluorometry for developing and validating remote sensing models of chl in SLE waters and other coastal environments characterized by relatively low to moderate (<10 g·m-3) concentrations of detritus. © 2012 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3666 - 3688
Number of pages23
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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