Improving Estimates of Phytoplankton Populations in the Chesapeake Bay Using Hyperspectral Radiometers

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Spehlmann, Max
Biodiversity; Biology; Marine Biology
thesis / dissertation description
In coastal and estuarine waters, high turbidity and land interference severely diminish the utility of satellite data. This study tested the accuracy of hyperspectral inversion algorithms to better resolve chlorophyll a estimates in the Chesapeake Bay. Hyperspectral instruments measure reflected light with much greater spectral resolution than the multispectral instruments currently deployed on ocean-observing satellites. Increased spectral resolution allows for better approximation of phytoplankton concentrations in optically complex waters. This research seeks to test optical inversion algorithms designed for turbid waters like the Chesapeake Bay. By pairing in situ measurements of chlorophyll with electromagnetic spectrum measurements, we determined the most accurate algorithms for use in the Chesapeake Bay. These algorithms can then be employed in future remote sensing studies to yield accurate chlorophyll measurements in fine temporal, and spatial time scales.