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Validation of MERIS water products in the Southern North Sea

Youngje Park(1), Kevin Ruddick(1) and Rosa Astoreca(2)

(1) MUMM, 100 Gulledelle, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
(2) ULB, Campus Plaine - CP 221, 1050 Brussels, Belgium


The Belgian part of the Southern North Sea is a relatively shallow region (mainly between 15m and 40m depth). Turbidity is high because of resuspension of bottom sediments by wind and tides, giving problems both for the atmospheric correction of ocean colour data and for the retrieval of chlorophyll a concentration. The absorption of phytoplankton pigments is largely masked by the absorption of non-algae particles and Coloured Dissolved Organic Matter, except for the high biomass bloom conditions. This study describes the validation activities in this region since the beginning of the MERIS mission and includes analysis by a variety of methods including matchups (near simultaneous satellite-seaborne measurements), multitemporal composites, and comparison with other satellite products (MODIS). The main focus is on validation of the algal 2 pigment (chlorophyll a). In addition to direct validation of this product, causes for discrepancies are analysed including the water-leaving reflectances and the variability of chlorophyll-specific phytoplankton absorption. The results are considered in the context of fitness-for-purpose for a range of applications.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry