Remote Sensing (Dec 2019)

Retrieval of Particulate Backscattering Using Field and Satellite Radiometry: Assessment of the QAA Algorithm

  • Jaime Pitarch,
  • Marco Bellacicco,
  • Emanuele Organelli,
  • Gianluca Volpe,
  • Simone Colella,
  • Vincenzo Vellucci,
  • Salvatore Marullo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 1
p. 77


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Particulate optical backscattering (bbp) is a crucial parameter for the study of ocean biology and oceanic carbon estimations. In this work, bbp retrieval, by the quasi-analytical algorithm (QAA), is assessed using a large in situ database of matched bbp and remote-sensing reflectance (Rrs). The QAA is also applied to satellite Rrs (ESA OC-CCI project) as well, after their validation against in situ Rrs. Additionally, the effect of Raman Scattering on QAA retrievals is studied. Results show negligible biases above random noise when QAA-derived bbp is compared to in situ bbp. In addition, Rrs from the CCI archive shows good agreement with in situ data. The QAA’s functional form of spectral backscattering slope, as derived from in situ radiometry, is validated. Finally, we show the importance of correcting for Raman Scattering over clear waters prior to semi-analytical retrieval. Overall, this work demonstrates the high efficiency of QAA in the bbp detection in case of both in situ and ocean color data, but it also highlights the necessity to increase the number of observations that are severely under-sampled in respect to others environmental parameters.