Remote sensing reflectance anomalies in the ocean
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Small spectral differences from the mean remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) of the ocean - anomalies - can provide unique environmental information from ocean color satellite data. First, we describe the average relationship between three input spectral bands and an output band by developing a look-up table (LUT) based on the fully normalized Rrs from the MODIS AQUA sensor. By dividing the Rrs measured at the output wavelength by the prediction from the LUT, we obtain several anomalies depending on the combination of input and output bands. None of these anomalies are correlated with chlorophyll concentration on the global scale. Some anomalies are strongly correlated with previously described data products (e.g., CDOM index, backscattering coefficients from semi-analytical inversion models), but others are not correlated with any product currently distributed by NASA. In the latter case, new information about oceanic optical properties is extracted from the ocean color spectra, which allows identification of water masses that was otherwise impossible with standard ocean color products. It was not possible, in some cases, to identify the optical source of this information, which may be spatially and temporally variable. We also show that by removing the main source of variability, the anomalies show interesting potential to identify subtle shifts in sensor response in satellite time series.
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