Measurement of the surface emissivity of turbid waters
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For interpreting thermal IR imagery of the ocean surface, the emissivity of the sea surface is usually assumed to be constant, approximately 0.98. However, the emissivity varies with the roughness of the sea surface, and the concentration and type of suspended particulates. The emissivity variations caused by the suspended sediments introduce significant errors in the satellite-derived temperature maps of turbid coastal waters.
We measured in the laboratory the thermal IR emissivity of water as the suspended sediment concentration was varied from zero to extremely high values. The results indicated that increasing the sediment concentration decreases the spectral emissivity within the 8–14 μm waveband.
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