Mascarenhas, V. J., D. Voß, J. Wollschlaeger, and O. Zielinski (2017): Fjord light regime: Bio-optical variability, absorption budget, and hyperspectral light availability in Sognefjord and Trondheimsfjord, Norway. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122, doi:10.1002/2016JC012610


Optically active constituents (OACs) in addition to water molecules attenuate light via processes of absorption and scattering and thereby determine underwater light availability. An analysis of their optical properties helps in determining the contribution of each of these to light attenuation. With an aim to study the bio-optical variability, absorption budget and 1% spectral light availability, hydrographical (temperature and salinity), and hyperspectral optical (downwelling irradiance and upwelling radiance) profiles were measured along fjord transects in Sognefjord and Trondheimsfjord, Norway. Optical water quality observations were also performed using Secchi disc and Forel-Ule scale. In concurrence, water samples were collected and analyzed via visible spectrophotometry, fluorometry, and gravimetry to quantify and derive inherent optical properties of the water constituents. An absorption model (R2 = 0.91, n = 36, p < 0.05) as a function of OACs is developed for Sognefjord using multiple regression analysis. Influenced by glacial meltwater, Sognefjord had higher concentration of inorganic suspended matter, while Trondheimsfjord had higher concentrations of CDOM. Increase in turbidity caused increased attenuation of light upstream, as a result of which the euphotic depth decreased from outer to inner fjord sections. Triangular representation of absorption budget revealed dominant absorption by CDOM at 443–555 nm, while that by phytoplankton at 665 nm. Sognefjord however exhibited much greater optical complexity. A significantly strong correlation between salinity and acdom440 is used to develop an algorithm to estimate acdom440 using salinity in Trondheimsfjord.

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