, Volume 658, Issue 1, pp 233-252
Date: 25 Sep 2010

The specific inherent optical properties of three sub-tropical and tropical water reservoirs in Queensland, Australia

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The underwater light climate, which is a major influence on the ecology of aquatic systems, is affected by the absorption and scattering processes that take place within the water column. Knowledge of the specific inherent optical properties (SIOPs) of water quality parameters and their spatial variation is essential for the modelling of underwater light fields and remote sensing applications. We measured the SIOPs and water quality parameter concentrations of three large inland water impoundments in Queensland, Australia. The measurements ranged from 0.9 to 42.7 μg l−1 for chlorophyll a concentration, 0.9–170.4 mg l−1 for tripton concentration, 0.36–1.59 m−1 for a CDOM(440) and 0.15–2.5 m for Secchi depth. The SIOP measurements showed that there is sufficient intra-impoundment variation in the specific absorption and specific scattering of phytoplankton and tripton to require a well distributed network of measurement stations to fully characterise the SIOPs of the optical water quality parameters. While significantly different SIOP sets were measured for each of the study sites the measurements were consistent with published values in other inland waters. The multiple measurement stations were allocated into optical domains as a necessary step to parameterise a semi-analytical inversion remote sensing algorithm. This article also addresses the paucity of published global inland water SIOP sets by contributing Australian SIOP sets to allow international and national comparison.

Handling editor: P. Nõges