EVALUATION OF STANDARD OCEAN COLOUR CHLOROPHYLL-a ALGORITHMS IN THE NORTHERN PERSIN GULF: COMPARISON OF MAGNITUDE AND SEASONALITY
Keywords: Remote Sensing, Coastal Waters, Absorption, Phytoplankton, Non-Living Particles
Abstract. The Persian Gulf is a peripheral sea that is quite turbid and visually complicated. Because of the complicated oceanic and atmospheric optical features of this maritime area, satellite remotely sensed chlorophyll-a (Chl-a, mg m−3) outputs have been used extensively. In this study, the seasonality and magnitude of Level-3 Chl-a time-series products, and daily Level-2 satellite-derived Chl-a concentrations were assessed using corresponding/concurrent in-situ observations gathered during 2008 to 2018. The results revealed that the field observations overestimated satellite-derived Chl-a by 115% in the deeper areas and up to 161% along the Iranian coastal waters. Comparison of inter-annual Chl-a time-series datasets with corresponding in-situ measurements showed that temporal patterns of the satellite-derived Chl-a values are not consistent with field observations. The monthly average of the satellite Chl-a series shows a different seasonal pattern in every region of the study area, and their magnitude over-estimated from 21% to 83% relative to in-situ observations. The absorption coefficients at 488–510 nm are primarily influenced by non-living particles instead of phytoplankton pigments, and no significant correlation are found between in-situ and Chl-a values from OC3/OC4 algorithms. Absorption coefficients spectra of water constituent’s shows that the contribution of phytoplankton pigments in particulate absorption coefficients at the blue-green bands are 48%–59%, and the particulate absorptions of water bodies are under the strong influence of non-living particles (40%–52%). Our results suggest that the red-green band-ratios algorithm centred at 675 nm and 555 nm presents more accurate results than OC3/OC4 over the study area.