Overview of remote sensing of chlorophyll flourescene in ocean waters

  • X Xing
  • D Zhao
  • Y Liu
  • L Wang


Besides empirical algorithms with the blue-green ratio, the algorithms based on fluorescence are also important and valid methods for retrieving chlorophyll-a concentration in the ocean waters, especially for Case II waters and the sea with algal bloom. This study reviews the history of initial cognitions, investigations and detailed approaches towards chlorophyll fluorescence, and then introduces the biological mechanism of fluorescence remote sensing and main spectral characteristics such as the positive correlation between fluorescence and chlorophyll concentration and the red shift phenomena. Meanwhile, there exist many influence factors that increase complexity of fluorescence remote sensing, such as fluorescence quantum yield, physiological status of various algae, substances with related optical property in the ocean, atmospheric absorption etc. Based on these cognitions, scientists have found two ways to calculate the amount of fluorescence detected by ocean color sensors: fluorescence line height and reflectance ratio. These two ways are currently the foundation for retrieving chlorophyll-a concentrations from the ocean. As in-situ measurements and synchronous satellite data are continuously being accumulated, the fluorescence remote sensing of chlorophyll-a concentration in Case II waters would be recognized more thoroughly and new algorithm could be expected.

International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences Vol. 2 (4) 2006: pp. 321-331

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eISSN: 0794-4713