Abstract

We assess the measurement of hyperspectral reflectance for outdoor monitoring of green algae and cyanobacteria cultures with a multichannel, fiber-coupled spectroradiometer. Reflectance data acquired over a 4-week period are interpreted via numerical inversion of a reflectance model, in which the above-water reflectance is expressed as a quadratic function of the single backscattering albedo, which is dependent on the absorption and backscatter coefficients. The absorption coefficient is treated as the sum of component spectra consisting of the cultured species (green algae or cyanobacteria), dissolved organic matter, and water (including the temperature dependence of the water absorption spectrum). The backscatter coefficient is approximated as the scaled Hilbert transform of the culture absorption spectrum with a wavelength-independent vertical offset. Additional terms in the reflectance model account for the pigment fluorescence features and the water-surface reflection of sunlight and skylight. For the green algae and cyanobacteria, the wavelength-independent vertical offset of the backscatter coefficient is found to scale linearly with daily dry weight measurements, providing the capability for a nonsampling measurement of biomass in outdoor ponds. Other fitting parameters in the reflectance model are compared with auxiliary measurements and physics-based calculations. The model-derived magnitudes of sunlight and skylight water-surface reflections compare favorably with Fresnel reflectance calculations, while the model-derived quantum efficiency of Chl-a fluorescence is found to be in agreement with literature values. Finally, the water temperatures derived from the reflectance model exhibit excellent agreement with thermocouple measurements during the morning hours but correspond to significantly elevated temperatures in the afternoon hours.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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