Spatiotemporal Evolutions of the Suspended Particulate Matter in the Yellow River Estuary, Bohai Sea and Characterized by Gaofen Imagery

Remote Sensing(2023)

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Suspended particulate matter is a crucial component in estuaries and coastal oceans, and a key parameter for evaluating their water quality. The Bohai Sea, a huge marginal sea covering an expanse of 77,000 km(2) and constantly fed by numerous sediment-laden rivers, has maintained a high level of total suspended particulate matter (TSM). Despite the widespread development and application of TSM retrieval algorithms using commonly available satellite data like Landsat, Sentinel, and MODIS, developing TSM retrieval algorithms for China's Gaofen (GF) series (GF-6 and GF-1) in the Bohai Sea is still a great challenge, mainly due to the limited applicability of empirical algorithms. In this study, 259 in situ measured-TSM samples were collected for algorithm development. The remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) curve demonstrates prominent peaks between 550 and 580 nm. Through conversion to remote sensing reflectance, it was found that single-band data had a weak correlation with TSM, reaching a maximum correlation of 0.44. However, by combining bands of band ratio calculations, the correlation was enhanced. Particularly, the blue and green band equivalent Rrs ratio had a correlation coefficient of 0.81 with TSM, and the proposed TSM inversion exponential algorithm developed based on this factor obtained an R-squared (R-2) value of 0.76 and a mean relative error (MRE) of 32.24%. Analysis results indicated that: (1) there are spatial variations in the TSM within the Bohai Sea, Laizhou Bay, and the Yellow River estuary, with higher levels near the coast and lower levels in open waters. The Yellow River estuary experiences seasonal fluctuations higher TSM during spring and winter, and lower variations during summer and autumn, and (2) the dynamics of TSM are affected by Yellow River runoff, with increased runoff leads to higher TSM levels and expanded turbid zones. This study proposes a new algorithm to quantify TSM evolutions and distributions in the Bohai Sea and adjacent regions using China's Gaofen imageries.
Bohai Sea,total suspended particulate matter (TSM),Gaofen imagery,remote sensing inversion,Yellow River estuary
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