Estimating total suspended matter concentration in tropical waters of the Berau estuary, Indonesia

W. Ambarwulan, W. Verhoef, C.M. Mannaerts, M.S. Salama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the application of a semi-empirical approach, based on the Kubelka–Munk (K-M) model, to retrieve the total suspended matter (TSM) concentration of water bodies from ocean colour remote sensing. This approach is validated with in situ data sets compiled from the tropical waters of Berau estuary, Indonesia. Compared to a purely empirical approach, the K-M model provides better results in the retrieval of TSM concentration on both data sets (in situ and Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS)). In this study, the K-M model was calibrated with in situ measurements of remote-sensing reflectance (R rs) and TSM concentration. Next, the inverse K-M model was successfully applied to images taken by the MERIS instrument by generating regional maps of TSM concentration. MERIS top-of-atmosphere radiances were atmospherically corrected using the Moderate Spectral Resolution Atmospheric Transmittance (MODTRAN) radiative transfer model. The best correlation between R rs measured in situ and R rs MERIS was found to be at a wavelength of 620 nm. The TSM concentrations retrieved using the K-M model showed a lower root mean square error (RMSE), a higher coefficient of determination and a smaller relative error than those retrieved by the purely empirical approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4919-4936
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • ocean color
  • atmospheric correction
  • meris measurements
  • baltic sea
  • products
  • validation
  • algorithm
  • simulation
  • retrieval
  • skagerrak

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