This study investigates the use of airborne ocean colour data for

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MAPPING SURFACE SUSPENDED PARTICLE DISTRIBUTIONS IN A
COASTAL ENVIRONMENT USING
REMOTE SENSING DATA
S. J. Lavender, D. Doxaran and R. C. N. Cherukuru
Geomatics Research Group, School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences
(SEOES), University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA.
Over a number of years the coastal waters surrounding Plymouth (including the
Tamar Estuary and Plymouth Sound) have been studied using remote sensing data,
with a primary focus being monitoring surface sediment transport. The remote sensing
data has including regular overflights with the NERC Compact Airborne
Spectrographic Imager (CASI) together with (since 2003) satellite imagery from
CHRIS-PROBA (has a spatial resolution of 25 m). Both instruments are
programmable and wavebands were chosen so that they were co-incident with each
other and operational ocean colour sensors (such as SeaWiFS and MERIS) that do not
have a sufficient spatial resolution (from 1km to 300m respectively) for mapping
estuaries.
In-situ data have also been recorded from the upstream part of the estuary (around the
location of the turbidity maximum) to mouth and within Plymouth Sound.
Relationships have been established from field optical measurements and are applied
to the remote sensing data, after an appropriate atmospheric correction, so that maps
of surface distribution patterns can be produced. The variations of turbidity observed
within surface waters are described and related to the tidal movements of the
maximum turbidity zone and more general estuarine dynamics.
Corresponding author: [email protected]
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