Jun Chen • Wenting Quan • Zhenhe Wen • Tingwei Cui
Environmental Earth Sciences
Remote sensing Semi-analytical algorithm Chlorophyll-a concentration Yellow River estuary
An improved three-band semi-analytical algorithm was developed for improving the performance of the three- and four-band algorithms, for chlorophyll-a concentration retrievals in the highly turbid waters of the Yellow River estuary. In this special case study of the Yellow River estuary, the optimal wavelengths of the improved three-band semi-analytical algorithm must meet the following requirements: the k1 and k2 must be restricted to within the range 660–690 nm, and the k3 must be longer than 750 nm. The algorithm calibration and validation results indicate that the improved three-band algorithm indeed produces superior performance in comparison to both the three- and four-band algorithms in retrieving chlorophyll-a concentration from the extremely coastal waters of the Yellow River estuary. Comparing the improved three-band algorithm to the original three- and four-band algorithm, the former minimizes the influence of backscattering by suspended solids in near-infrared regions, while the three-band algorithm has a much stronger error tolerance ability than the four-band algorithm. These findings imply that if an atmospheric correction scheme for visible and near-infrared bands is available, the improved three-band algorithm may be used for quantitative monitoring of chlorophyll-a concentration in turbid coastal waters with similar bio-optical properties, although some local bio-optical information or improved models may be required to reposition the optimal band positions of the algorithm.