Bio-optical retrieval algorithm for the optically shallow waters of the Great Lakes

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



With the exception of a few areas, Lake Michigan is an oligotrophic clear water body. It is predominantly in the nearshore where ecology-relevant processes unfold due to natural and anthropogenic forcing. However, the bottom influence is strong enough to contaminate satellite observed signal, thus impeding the remote sensing of water quality parameters within the coastal zone. A new approach based on a radiative transfer model, a specific hydro-optical model and multivariate optimization has been developed to produce a tool for operational satellite retrievals of water quality parameters in optically shallow areas. The algorithm retrieves concentrations of the Color Producing Agents (CPAs), chlorophyll, suspended matter, and CDOM in coastal waters with varying bottom types. The sensitivity of the new approach was tested for hydro-optical conditions in Lake Michigan. MODIS data acquisitions were synchronized with in situ radiometric measurements, as well as identification of bottom type and depth. Retrievals of remote sensing reflectance and CPA concentrations within the ranges of depth where bottom reflectance is detectable compared will with in situ observations. Application of the developed operational tool has convincingly shown its advantage over the OC4 performance in optically shallow waters at all control stations.

Publisher's Statement

© 2015 The authors.

Publication Title

IAGLR 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research