Remote Sensing, Vol. 11, Pages 184: Optical Classification of the Remote Sensing Reflectance and Its Application in Deriving the Specific Phytoplankton Absorption in Optically Complex Lakes (Remote Sensing)
Optical water types (OWTs) were identified from remote sensing reflectance (Rrs(λ)) values in a field-measured dataset of several large lakes in the lower reaches of the Yangtze and Huai River (LYHR) Basin. Four OWTs were determined from normalized remote sensing reflectance spectra (NRrs(λ)) using the k-means clustering approach, and were identified in the Sentinel 3A OLCI (Ocean Land Color Instrument) image data over lakes in the LYHR Basin. The results showed that 1) Each OWT is associated with different bio-optical properties, such as the concentration of chlorophyll-a (Chla), suspended particulate matter (SPM), proportion of suspended particulate inorganic matter (SPIM), and absorption coefficient of each component. One optical water type showed an obvious characteristic with a high contribution of mineral particles, while one type was mostly determined by a high content of phytoplankton. The other types belonged to the optically mixed water types. 2) Class-specific Chla inversion algorithms performed better for all water types, except type 4, compared to the overall dataset. In addition, class-specific inversion algorithms for estimating the Chla-specific absorption coefficient of phytoplankton at 443 nm (a*ph(443)) were developed based on the relationship between a*ph(443) and Chla of each OWT. The spatial variations in the class-specific model-derived a*ph(443) values were illustrated for 2 March 2017, and 24 October 2017. 3) The dominant water type and the Shannon index (H) were used to characterize the optical variability or similarity of the lakes in the LYHR Basin using cloud-free OLCI images in 2017. A high optical variation was located in the western and southern parts of Lake Taihu, the southern part of Lake Hongze, Lake Chaohu, and several small lakes near the Yangtze River, while the northern part of Lake Hongze had a low optical diversity. This work demonstrates the potential and necessity of optical classification in estimating bio-optical parameters using class-specific inversion algorithms and monitoring of the optical variations in optically complex and dynamic lake waters.