Progress in Oceanography
Ocean color measured from satellites provides daily global, synoptic views of spectral water-leaving reflectancesthat can be used to generate estimates of marine inherent optical properties (IOPs). These reflectances, namelythe ratio of spectral upwelled radiances to spectral downwelled irradiances, describe the light exiting a watermass that defines its color. IOPs are the spectral absorption and scattering characteristics of ocean water and itsdissolved and particulate constituents. Because of their dependence on the concentration and composition ofmarine constituents, IOPs can be used to describe the contents of the upper ocean mixed layer. This informationis critical to further our scientific understanding of biogeochemical oceanic processes, such as organic carbonproduction and export, phytoplankton dynamics, and responses to climatic disturbances. Given their im-portance, the international ocean color community has invested significant effort in improving the quality of satellite-derived IOP products, both regionally and globally. Recognizing the current influx of data products intothe community and the need to improve current algorithms in anticipation of new satellite instruments (e.g., theglobal, hyperspectral spectroradiometer of the NASA Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mis-sion), we present a synopsis of the current state of the art in the retrieval of these core optical properties.Contemporary approaches for obtaining IOPs from satellite ocean color are reviewed and, for clarity, separatedbased their inversion methodology or the type of IOPs sought. Summaries of known uncertainties associated witheach approach are provided, as well as common performance metrics used to evaluate them. We discuss currentknowledge gaps and make recommendations for future investment for upcoming missions whose instrumentcharacteristics diverge sufficiently from heritage and existing sensors to warrant reassessing current approaches.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Werdell, Jeremy; McKinna, Lachlan I. W.; Boss, Emmanuel; Ackleson, Steven G.; Craig, Susanne E.; Gregg, Watson W.; Lee, Zhongping; Maritorena, Stephane; Roesler, Collin S.; Rousseaux, Cecile S.; Stramski, Dariusz; Sullivan, James M.; Twardowski, Michael S.; Tzortziou, Maria; and Zhang, Xiaodong, "An Overview of Approaches and Challenges for Retrieving Marine Inherent Optical Properties from Ocean Color Remote Sensing" (2018). Earth System Science and Policy Faculty Publications. 11.