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Variability of River Plume Signature Determined Using Satellite Images

Keywords: interannual variability , plume signature , nLw 551 , Coastal waters , river plume

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Abstract:

Estuarine outflow associated with suspended matter concentrations and pollutants have a major impact on marine ecosystems. Understanding the dynamics and dispersal pattern of suspended matter from river water are important for management of coastal water quality and biological productivity. This study aimed to determine the variability of Pahang River plume signature at the coastal area. One km spatial-resolution normalized water-leaving radiance, (nLw 551) obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Aqua satellite were analyzed from the period of 2005-2010. The plume spectral signature estimated of the backscattering coefficient nLw 551 (proxy for suspended matter) was strongly correlated with the amount of monthly average rainfall over the study period. The plume signature distributions during 2005-2010 based on nLw 551 was highly variable. During northeast monsoon, the plume tends to propagate to the south and shows the strongest plume signature of nLw 551 value (>2.0 mW cm-2 m-1 sr-1) meanwhile during southwest monsoon the plume dispersion to the north and exhibit weakest plume signature value (<1.5 mW cm-2 m-1 sr-1). The variability of plume signature was determined by the backscattering characteristics of surface waters in the region of the river mouth as a result of rainfall, wind stress and surface current event.

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