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The vertical distribution of irradiance in the ocean is a key input to quantify processes spanning from radiative warming, photosynthesis to photo-oxidation. Here we use a novel dataset of thousands local-noon downwelling irradiance at 490 nm (Ed(490) and photosynthetically available radiation (PAR) profiles captured by 103 BGC-Argo floats spanning three years (from October 2012 to January 2016) in the world's ocean, to evaluate several published algorithms and satellite products related to diffuse attenuation coefficient (Kd). Our results show: (1) MODIS-Aqua Kd(490) products derived from a blue-to-green algorithm and two semi-analytical algorithms show good consistency with the float-observed values, but the Chla-based one has overestimation in oligotrophic waters; (2) The Kd(PAR) model based on the Inherent Optical Properties (IOPs) performs well not only at sea-surface but also at depth, except for the oligotrophic waters where Kd(PAR) is underestimated below two penetration depth (2zpd), due to the model's assumption of a homogeneous distribution of IOPs in the water column which is not true in most oligotrophic waters with deep chlorophyll-a maxima; (3) In addition, published algorithms for the 1% euphotic-layer depth and the depth of 0.415 mol photons m-2 d-1 isolume are evaluated. Algorithms based on Chla generally work well while IOPs-based ones exhibit an overestimation issue in stratified and oligotrophic waters, due to the underestimation of Kd(PAR) at depth.
Xing, Xiaogang; Boss, Emmanuel S.; Zhang, Jie; and Chai, Fei, "Evaluation of ocean color remote sensing algorithms for diffuse attenuation coefficients and optical depths with data collected on BGC-Argo floats" (2020). Marine Sciences Faculty Scholarship. 222.
Xing, X., E. Boss, J. Zhang and F. Chai, 2020. Evaluation of Ocean Color Remote Sensing Algorithms for Diffuse Attenuation Coefficients and Optical Depths with Data Collected on BGC-Argo Floats. Remote Sensing 12(15):2367, https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12152367
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