Satellite estimates of wide-range suspended sediment concentrations in Changjiang (Yangtze) estuary using MERIS data

F. Shen, W. Verhoef, Y. Zhou, M.S. Salama, X. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


The Changjiang (Yangtze) estuarine and coastal waters are characterized by suspended sediments over a wide range of concentrations from 20 to 2,500 mg l-1. Suspended sediment plays important roles in the estuarine and coastal system and environment. Previous algorithms for satellite estimates of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) showed a great limitation in that only low to moderate concentrations (up to 50 mg l-1) could be reliably estimated. In this study, we developed a semi-empirical radiative transfer (SERT) model with physically based empirical coefficients to estimate SSC from MERIS data over turbid waters with a much wider range of SSC. The model was based on the Kubelka–Munk two-stream approximation of radiative transfer theory and calibrated using datasets from in situ measurements and outdoor controlled tank experiments. The results show that the sensitivity and saturation level of remote-sensing reflectance to SSC are dependent on wavelengths and SSC levels. Therefore, the SERT model, coupled with a multi-conditional algorithm scheme adapted to satellite retrieval of wide-range SSC, was proposed. Results suggest that this method is more effective and accurate in the estimation of SSC over turbid waters
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1420-1429
JournalEstuaries and coasts
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • remote-sensing reflectance
  • coastal waters
  • matter
  • algorithm
  • seawifs
  • images
  • ocean
  • retrieval
  • dynamics
  • radiance


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