In this paper we investigate if MERIS full resolution (FR) data (300 m) is sufficient to monitor changes in optical constituents in Himmerfjärden, a fjord-like, north– south facing bay of about 30 km length and 4 km width. The MERIS FR products were derived using a coastal processor (FUB Case-2 Plug-In). We also compared the performance between FUB and standard processor (MEGS 7.4), using reduced resolution (RR) data (1 km resolution) from the open Baltic Sea, and compared the products to sea-truthing data. The optical variables measured for seatruthing
were chlorophyll, suspended particulate matter (SPM), as well as coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM, also termed yellow substances), and the spectral diffuse attenuation coefficient, K d (490). The comparison of the RR data to the sea-truthing data showed that, in the open Baltic Sea, the MERIS standard processor overestimated chlorophyll by about 59%, and SPM by about 28%, and underestimated yellow substance by about 81%, whereas the FUB processor underestimated SPM by about 60%, CDOM by about 78%, and chlorophyll a by about 56%.
The FUB processor showed a relatively high precision for all optical components (standard deviation: 6– 18%), whereas the precision for the MEGS 7.4 was rather low (standard deviation: 43– 73%), except for CDOM (standard deviation: 13%). The analysis of the FR data showed that all FR level 2 water products derived from MERIS followed a polynomial decline in concentration when moving off-shore. The distribution of chlorophyll and SPM was best described by a 2nd order polynomial, and the distribution of CDOM by a 3rd order polynomial, verifying the
diffusional model described in Kratzer and Tett [Kratzer, S. and Tett, P. (in press). Using bio-optics to investigate the extent of coastal waters— a Swedish case study. Hydrobiologia.]. A new K d (490) and Secchi depth algorithm based on MERIS channel 3 (490 nm) and channel 6 (620 nm) each was derived from radiometric sea-truthing data (TACCS, Satlantic). Applying the K d (490) algorithm to the MERIS FR data over Himmerfjärden, and comparing to sea-truthing data the results showed a strong correlation (r =0.94). When comparing the FR data to the seatruthing
data CDOM and K d (490) showed a low accuracy, but a high precision with a rather constant off-set. In summary, one may state that the precision of MERIS data improves by applying the FUB Case-2 processor and the accuracy improves with improved spatial resolution for chlorophyll and SPM. Furthermore, the FUB processor can be used off-the-shelf for open Baltic Sea monitoring, provided one corrects for the respective off-set from sea-truthing data which is most likely caused by an inaccuracy in the atmospheric correction. Additionally, the FR data can
be used to derive CDOM, K d (490) and Secchi depth in Himmmerfjärden if one corrects for the respective off-set. We will need to perform more comparisons between sea-truthing and MERIS FR data before the new K d (490) algorithm can be made operational, including also scenes from other times of year. In order to provide a level 2 product that can be used reliably by the Baltic Sea user community, our recommendation to ESA is to include the spectral attenuation coefficient as a MERIS standard product.
Elsevier Inc , 2008. Vol. 112, no 5, 2284-2300 p.
MERIS FR data; Baltic Sea; Coastal zone; Spectral diffuse attenuation coefficient, K d (490); Secchi depth; Algorithm development