Diurnal Variation of Light Absorption in the Yellow River Estuary Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 by the authors. Considering the influence of river discharge and strong winds, the diurnal variability of ocean optical absorption properties in the Yellow River Estuary (YRE) is quantified, using in-situ measurements. The study finds that terrestrial sources due to the Yellow River discharge can cause high diurnal variation of water absorption because of the movement of river plume in the YRE, but such an influence diminishes far away from the Yellow River plume. The diurnal variability of water absorption, affected by strong winds, is found to be strengthened with a rapid increase of particles and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) arising from re-suspended sediment induced by wave forcing. The diurnal variability of particle absorption is controlled by non-algal particle absorption in the YRE, and the ratio of non-algal particle absorption (aNAP) and total particle absorption for most wavelengths is more than 0.56. The diurnal variation of spectral slope of non-algal particle absorption (SNAP) is found to vary within a narrow range, although large variability in the aNAP spectrum is observed. The CDOM is correlated negatively with salinity, and such negative correlation becomes weaker with the decreasing influence of riverine input. The spectral slope of CDOM absorption (Sg) may reflect the formation and constituents of CDOM with weak relationship to its concentration, and its relationship with the absorption of CDOM at 440 nm may be associated with the source of CDOM. The value of Sg, which is affected by re-suspended bottom sediment, is much lower than that derived from CDOM affected by Yellow River runoff. Disregarding the absorption of pure water, the diurnal variability of total water absorption stems principally from changes in non-algal particle matter rather than CDOM and Chl-a. By the observations of hourly GOCI (Geostationary Ocean Color Imager) data, the major diurnal variations of remote sensing reflectance at 680 nm are observed in near-coastal waters and the estuary of the Yellow River, which are mainly influenced by the flow discharge of Yellow River and strong winds. Finally, the seasonal differences of diurnal variations of water absorption caused by strong winds and river discharge are determined.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hao, Y., Cui, T., Singh, V. P., Zhang, J., Yu, R., & Zhao, W.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Hao, Yanling||Cui, Tingwei||Singh, Vijay P||Zhang, Jie||Yu, Ruihong||Zhao, Wenjing

publication date

  • April 2018