Optical calibration, bathymetry, water column correction and bottom typing of shallow marine areas, using passive remote sensing imageries
Bathymetry and water column correction
at Caicos Bank, Bahamas
4018*4149, 30 m pixel size, UTM zone 18, downloaded from USGS
Using the Panchromatic band for water column correction
to derive water depth and spectral bottom signature:

Landsat 8 OLIP bandset used for this work

Purple_1Blue_2Green_3PAN_4Red_5NIR_6 and SWIR1_7

Please refer to Bora Bora and Sanaa
for use of the PANchromatic band for water column correction


1 - NO NEED for field data, nor for atmospheric correction
2 - this is demonstrated in this website, using a variety of hyper/multi spectral data
Requirements are
1 - homogeneous water body and atmosphere
2 - some coverage of optically deep water
3 - some coverage of dry land
Problems are
1 - the precision on estimated depth is found wanting, because the noise-equivalent change in radiance  of accessible data is too high for shallow water column correction work 
2 - radiance data should be preprocessed by the provider at level 1 in order to improve S/N ratio
3 - exponential decay: the deeper/darker the bottom, the poorer the performances
I keep digging
until suitable data
become available

scene LC80090452015187LGN00, Jul 6th 2015.
Image courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey
work done july 2016


DTM seatruth   RMSE=0.69 m

tide correction: 1.50 m

see legend
Z4SM vs ZDTM+1.50m

Data and Deglinting

TOA TCC: raw image
logaritmic enhancement

TOA TCC deglinted image
same logaritmic enhancement


Optical calibration, optimized
16U data are scaled to allow for comfortable screen display

Calibration diagram for the whole scene
for bands Blue, Green, Red and NIR
KBLUE/KGREEN=0.58 => Jerlov water type OIB+0.69


Calibration diagram for the whole scene
for bands Blue, Green, PAN, and NIR

Reflectance (0-1)
of the path radiance Ra for this scene
0.128 0.105 0.075 0.070 0.056 0.040 0.018

Reflectance (0-1)
of the water volume Rw for this scene
0.021 0.016 0.002 0.001 0.0 0.0 0.0


Now ready for Modeling
No smoothing applied
PAN solution applied

BOA TCC water column corrected
Linear enhancement
Reddish areas denote some "pollution"
in the RED band,
  • likely, incomplete "deglinting" of the path radiance

Retrieved depth in centimeters in decimeters
see legend for retrieved depth in dm


Bottom typing

SAM classified image
see legend for SAM

ImageB: average bottom brightness