Master of Science (MS)


Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

Document Type



The first part of this thesis includes evaluating and developing empirical band ratio algorithms for the estimation of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) for SeaWiFS, MODIS and MERIS ocean color sensors for the northern Gulf of Mexico. For CDOM, matchup comparison between SeaWiFS-derived CDOM absorption coefficients and in situ absorption measurements at 412 nm (aCDOM(412)) were examined using the D’Sa et al. (2006) and the Mannino et al. (2008) algorithms. These reflectance band ratio algorithms were also assessed to retrieve aCDOM(412) from MODIS and MERIS data using the Rrs(488)/Rrs(555) and Rrs(510)/Rrs(560) band ratios, respectively. Since DOC cannot be measured directly by remote sensors, CDOM as the colored component of DOC is utilized as a proxy to estimate DOC remotely. A seasonal relationship between CDOM and DOC was established for the summer and spring-winter with high correlation for both periods. Seasonal band ratio empirical algorithms to estimate DOC were thus developed. In the second part of this study, a numerical model to study CDOM dynamics in the northern Gulf of Mexico was examined. To derive surface CDOM concentration maps from simulated salinity output from the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM), a highly correlated linear inverse relationship between CDOM and salinity is required which was examined for both inner-shelf and outer-shelf areas for the spring-winter and the summer periods. Applying these relationships on NCOM simulated salinity resulted in hourly maps of CDOM exhibiting high consistency with CDOM patterns derived from SeaWiFS sensor. Overlaying the NCOM-derived CDOM maps on the simulated currents showed the profound effect of currents on CDOM advection. Cold fronts strongly impact CDOM advection in both the inner and outer shelves by flushing CDOM-laden waters out of the coastal bays.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

D'Sa, Eurico J