Document Type


Date of Original Version





The remote sensing of chlorophyll a concentration from ocean color satellites has been an essential variable quantifying phytoplankton in the past decades, yet estimation of accessory pigments from ocean color remote sensing data has remained largely elusive. In this study, we validated the concentrations of multiple pigments (Cpigs) retrieved from in situ and MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) measured remote sensing reflectance (Rrs(λ)) in the global oceans. A multi-pigment inversion model (MuPI) was used to semi-analytically retrieve Cpigs from Rrs(λ). With a set of globally optimized parameters, the accuracy of the retrievals obtained with MuPI is quite promising. Compared with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) measurements near Bermuda, the concentrations of chlorophyll a, b, c ([Chl-a], [Chl-b], [Chl-c]), photoprotective carotenoids ([PPC]), and photosynthetic carotenoids ([PSC]) can be retrieved from MERIS data with a mean unbiased absolute percentage difference of 38%, 78%, 65%, 36%, and 47%, respectively. The advantage of the MuPI approach is the simultaneous retrievals of [Chl-a] and the accessory pigments [Chl-b], [Chl-c], [PPC], [PSC] from MERIS Rrs(λ) based on a closure between the input and output Rrs(λ) spectra. These results can greatly expand scientific studies of ocean biology and biogeochemistry of the global oceans that are not possible when the only available information is [Chl-a].

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.