A single exponential model of the form ag(λ)∝e -seλ was evaluated in the context of its application and interpretation in describing absorption by chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), ag, as a function of wavelength, λ. The spectral slope, se, is often used as a proxy for CDOM composition, including the ratio of fulvic to humic acids and molecular weight. About three-quarters of the variability in se values from the literature could be explained by the different spectral ranges used in each study. Dependency on different spectral ranges resulted from the relatively weak performance of the single exponential as a descriptor of ag(λ) in comparison to other models that allow for greater spectral curvature. Consequently, actual variability in the spectral shape of absorption, and thus the composition of CDOM, from widely varying water types appears less than currently thought. The usefulness of five other models in describing CDOM absorption spectra in the visible domain was also evaluated. Six data sets collected with an ac9 in-situ spectrophotometer from around the coastal United States were used in the analysis. All models considered performed better than the conventional single exponential model, with the exception of a double exponential model, where the second exponential term contributed little new information in the fit. Statistically, the most "useful" model (judged by an analysis of variance) in the visible range was a hyperbolic model of the form: a g(λ)∝λ-sh. Although the hyperbolic model was less dependent on the spectral range used in the fit, some dependency remained. The most representative model for describing ag(λ) from the six regions considered in this study, with ag at 412 nm as input, was: ag(λ)=ag(412)(λ/412) -6.92. This spectral relationship may be suitable for remote sensing semi-analytical models which must compute a spectrum from a single estimate of CDOM absorption in the blue derived from a remotely sensed water-leaving radiance signal.
Twardowski, Michael S.; Boss, Emmanuel; Sullivan, James M.; and Donaghay, Percy L., "Modeling the spectral shape of absorption by chromophoric dissolved organic matter" (2004). Marine Sciences Faculty Scholarship. 157.
This article was published in Marine Chemistry, Vol. 89
© 2004 Elsevier B.V.
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