Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



This paper was published in Water Resources: vol. 46, issue 4, pages 993-1004.


Algorithms based on red and near infra-red (NIR) reflectances measured using field spectrometers have been previously shown to yield accurate estimates of chlorophylla concentration in turbid productive waters, irrespective of variations in the bio-optical characteristics of water. The objective of this study was to investigate the performance of NIR-red models when applied to multi-temporal airborne reflectance data acquired by the hyperspectral sensor, Airborne Imaging Spectrometer for Applications (AISA), with non-uniform atmospheric effects across the dates of data acquisition. The results demonstrated the capability of the NIR-red models to capture the spatial distribution of chlorophyll-a in surface waters without the need for atmospheric correction. However, the variable atmospheric effects did affect the accuracy of chlorophyll-a retrieval. Two atmospheric correction procedures, namely, Fast Line-of-sight Atmospheric Adjustment of Spectral Hypercubes (FLAASH) and QUick Atmospheric Correction (QUAC), were applied to AISA data and their results were compared. QUAC produced a robust atmospheric correction, which led to NIR-red algorithms that were able to accurately estimate chlorophyll- a concentration, with a root mean square error of 5.54 mg m-3 for chlorophylla concentrations in the range 2.27-81.17 mg m-3.