Yue, Y.L.; Qing, S.; Diao, R.X., and Hao, Y.L., 2020. Remote sensing of suspended particulate matter in optically complex estuarine and inland waters based on optical classification. In: Jung, H.-S.; Lee, S.; Ryu, J.-H., and Cui, T. (eds.), Advances in Geospatial Research of Coastal Environments. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 102, pp. 303-317. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Accurate suspended particulate matter (SPM) concentration retrieval across complex estuarine to inland waters from ocean color remote sensing reflectance (Rrs(λ)) faces challenges. In this paper, an optical classification-based SPM retrieval algorithm in optically complex estuarine and inland waters was proposed and tested in the Yellow River Estuary and Daihai Lake, China. Firstly, the in situ measured Rrs(λ) (n = 204) were classified into two optical water types with the method defined by Matsushita et al. (2015). Secondly, we designed several mathematical models and selected the optimal algorithm according to the goodness of fit. Optimal algorithms were developed for each water type to achieve accurate SPM retrieval. Through the construction of the optimal retrieval algorithm in each water type, the uncertainty of SPM retrievals has been reduced from 95 % to about 39 % compared with the algorithm without optical classification. The retrieval algorithm based on optical water classification was further applied to the Sentinel-2 MSI L2A data over the study area and produced reliable SPM maps. Independent validation with the in situ-satellite match-ups further demonstrates the algorithm's validity (uncertainty of about 47 %). In contrast, applications of other SPM retrieval algorithms resulted in less reliable SPM results with either unsatisfactory retrieval accuracy in class1 (the lowest value of r can reach 0.02). The optical classification, together with the optimal retrieval algorithm for each optical type, is proved to be a feasible way for SPM retrieval in high accuracy over optically complex waters.