Ocean Optics and Ocean Color Remote Sensing

Lecture content:

The first part of the lecture covers the principles of ocean optics. Topics included are basic physics of light and interaction of light with matter, inherent and apparent optical properties, radiative transfer equation, light fields within the ocean, water-leaving radiance and remote-sensing reflectance, effects of various seawater constituents on ocean reflectance, and optical instrumentation and measurement techniques.

The second part of the lecture focuses on ocean color remote sensing. This includes the principles of ocean color remote sensing, the technology of the instruments commonly used ocean color satellite sensors (such as CZCS, SeaWiFS, MODIS, MERIS, OLCI, but also sensors with high spectral but rather moderate spatial resolution (SCIAMACHY, GOME-2) and retrieval techniques of ocean color data products, such as phytoplankton biomass, phytoplankton photosynthetic activity, major PFTs, other particulates, coloured dissolved organic matter and light penetration depth. Finally also validation techniques of ocean color data products by ship-based in-situ observation and the application of these ocean color data sets in global ecosystem and biogeochemical modells will be will be presented.


- Mobley, C. D. "Light and Water. Radiative Transfer in Natural Waters" Academic Press, 1994.

- Kirk, J. T. O. "Light and Photosynthesis in Aquatic Ecosystems" Cambridge University Press, 1994.

- Robinson, I. S., "Measuring the Oceans from Space" Springer and Praxis Publishing, 2004.

- Bukata, R. P., J. H. Jerome, K. Ya. Kondratyev, and D. V. Pozdnyakov, "Optical Properties and Remote Sensing of Inland and Coastal Waters", CRC Press, 1995.

- Martin, S. "An Introduction to Ocean Remote Sensing" Cambridge University Press, 2004.