Complementary water quality observations from high and medium resolution Sentinel sensors by aligning chlorophyll-a and turbidity algorithms

Warren, MA, Simis, SGH and Selmes, N 2021 Complementary water quality observations from high and medium resolution Sentinel sensors by aligning chlorophyll-a and turbidity algorithms. Remote Sensing of Environment, 265. 112651.

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High resolution imaging spectrometers are prerequisite to address significant data gaps in inland optical water quality monitoring. In this work, we provide a data-driven alignment of chlorophyll-a and turbidity derived from the Sentinel-2 MultiSpectral Imager (MSI) with corresponding Sentinel-3 Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) products. For chlorophyll-a retrieval, empirical ‘ocean colour’ blue-green band ratios and a near infra-red (NIR) band ratio algorithm, as well as a semi-analytical three-band NIR-red ratio algorithm, were included in the analysis. Six million co-registrations with MSI and OLCI spanning 24 lakes across five continents were analysed. Following atmospheric correction with POLYMER, the reflectance distributions of the red and NIR bands showed close similarity between the two sensors, whereas the distribution for blue and green bands was positively skewed in the MSI results compared to OLCI. Whilst it is not possible from this analysis to determine the accuracy of reflectance retrieved with either MSI or OLCI results, optimizing water quality algorithms for MSI against those previously derived for the Envisat Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and its follow-on OLCI, supports the wider use of MSI for aquatic applications. Chlorophyll-a algorithms were thus tuned for MSI against concurrent OLCI observations, resulting in significant improvements against the original algorithm coefficients. The mean absolute difference (MAD) for the blue-green band ratio algorithm decreased from 1.95 mg m− 3 to 1.11 mg m− 3, whilst the correlation coefficient increased from 0.61 to 0.80. For the NIR-red band ratio algorithms improvements were modest, with the MAD decreasing from 4.68 to 4.64 mg m− 3 for the empirical red band ratio algorithm, and 3.73 to 3.67 for the semi-analytical 3-band algorithm. Three implementations of the turbidity algorithm showed improvement after tuning with the resulting distributions having reduced bias. The MAD reduced from 0.85 to 0.72, 1.22 to 1.10 and 1.93 to 1.55 FNU for the 665, 708 and 778 nm implementations respectively. However, several sources of uncertainty remain: adjacent land showed high divergence between the sensors, suggesting that high product uncertainty near land continues to be an issue for small water bodies, while it cannot be stated at this point whether MSI or OLCI results are differentially affected. The effect of spectrally wider bands of the MSI on algorithm sensitivity to chlorophyll-a and turbidity cannot be fully established without further availability of in situ optical measurements.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Earth Observation Science and Applications
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 23 Aug 2021 08:58
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2021 08:59

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