Spectra of Backscattered Light from the Sea Obtained from Aircraft as a Measure of Chlorophyll Concentration

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Science  20 Feb 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3921, pp. 1119-1121
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3921.1119


Spectra of sun and skylight backscattered from the sea were obtained from a low-flying aircraft and were compared with measurements of chlorophyll concentration made from shipboard at the same localities and at nearly the same times. Increasing amounts of chlorophyll were found to be associated with a relative decrease in the blue portion of the spectra and an increase in the green. Anomalies in the spectra show that factors other than chlorophyll also affect the water color in some instances; these factors include other biochromes, suspended sediment, surface reflection, polarization, and air light.

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