The relative capabilities of two remote-sensing systems in measuring depth and, consequently, bottom contours in sandy-bottomed and sediment-laden coastal waters were determined quantitatively. The multispectral scanner (MSS), orbited on the LANDSAT-2 Satellite, and the ocean color scanner (OCS), flown on U-2 aircraft, were used. Analysis of imagery taken simultaneously indicates a potential for hydrographic charting of marine coastal and shallow shelf areas, even when water turbidity is a factor. Several of the eight optical channels examined on the OCS were found to be sensitive to depth or depth-related information. The greatest sensitivity was in OCS-4(0.544 + or - 0.012 microns) from which contours corresponding to depths up to 12m were determined. The sharpness of these contours and their spatial stability through time suggests that upwelling radiance is a measure of bottom reflectance and not of water turbidity. The two visible channels on LANDSAT's MSS were less sensitive in the discrimination of contours, with depths up to 8m in the high-gain mode (3x) determined in MSS-4(0.5 to 0.6 microns).
EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING
Ocean 76 Conf.; 14-16 Sept. 1976; Washington, DC; United States