An algorithm to retrieve chlorophyll, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended minerals from Great Lakes satellite data

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An algorithm that utilizes individual lake hydro-optical (HO) models has been developed for the Great Lakes that uses SeaWiFS, MODIS, or MERIS satellite data to estimate concentrations of chlorophyll, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended minerals. The Color Producing Agent Algorithm (CPA-A) uses a specific HO model for each lake. The HO models provide absorption functions for the Color Producing Agents (CPAs) (chlorophyll (chl), colored dissolved organic matter (as dissolved organic carbon, doc), and suspended minerals (sm)) as well as backscatter for the chlorophyll, and suspended mineral parameters. These models were generated using simultaneous optical data collected with in situ measurements of CPAs collected during research cruises in the Great Lakes using regression analysis as well as using specific absorption and backscatter coefficients at specific chl, doc, and sm concentrations. A single average HO model for the Great Lakes was found to generate insufficiently accurate concentrations for Lakes Michigan, Erie, Superior and Huron. These new individual lake retrievals were evaluated with respect to EPA in situ field observations, as well as compared to the widely used OC3 MODIS retrieval. The new algorithm retrievals provided slightly more accurate chl values for Lakes Michigan, Superior, Huron, and Ontario than those obtained using the OC3 approach as well as providing additional concentration information on doc and sm. The CPA-A chl retrieval for Lake Erie is quite robust, producing reliable chl values in the reported EPA concentration ranges. Atmospheric correction approaches were also evaluated in this study.

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© 2013 International Association for Great Lakes Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Publisher's version or record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2013.06.017

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Journal of Great Lakes Research