Atmospheric correction and subsequent chlorophyll detection algorithms via remote sensing means were designed for use over the world's oceans. The algorithms seem to fail when used on data taken over the Laurentian Great Lakes. Two primary reasons for the failure have been identified as higher suspended minerals in the Great Lakes than in the oceans and normally higher cloud cover over the Great Lakes. A characterization of the impact of clouds on the radiance reaching remote sensing platforms has been performed. From this characterization, the impact on the calculated chlorophyll content determined by current algorithms is derived. The work presented here describes the creation of an end-to-end radiative transfer model for the complete sun-air-water-air-detector system and the application of that model to perform the cloud impact characterization. The radiative transfer model is modular; the modules relate to each propagation/scattering regime. Existing radiative transfer computer codes were used when the required accuracy and resolution could be met. The cloud module in particular represents an advance in the radiative transfer methods found in the literature.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Clouds--Remote sensing; Chlorophyll--Remote sensing; Water quality--Remote sensing
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Fairbanks, Ronald, "A Characterization of the impact of clouds on remotely sensed water quality" (1999). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus