Assessing the potential of geostationary himawari-8 for mapping surface total suspended solids and its diurnal changes

Sidrah Hafeez, Man Sing Wong, Sawaid Abbas, Guangjia Jiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Ocean color sensors, typically installed on polar-orbiting satellites, have been used to monitor oceanic processes for last three decades. However, their temporal resolution is not considered to be adequate for monitoring highly dynamic oceanic processes, especially when considering data gaps due to cloud contamination. The Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) onboard the Himawari-8, a geostationary satellite operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), acquires imagery every 10 min at 500 m to 2000 m spatial resolution. The AHI sensor with three visible, one near-infrared (NIR), and two shortwave-infrared (SWIR) bands displays good potential in monitoring oceanic processes at high temporal resolution. This study investigated and identified an appropriate atmospheric correction method for AHI data; developed a model for Total Suspended Solids (TSS) concentrations estimation using hyperspectral data and in-situ measurements of TSS; validated the model; and assessed its potential to capture diurnal changes using AHI imagery. Two image-based atmospheric correction methods, the NIR-SWIR method and the SWIR method were tested for correcting the AHI data. Then, the new model was applied to the atmospherically corrected AHI data to map TSS and its diurnal changes in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) and neighboring coastal areas. The results indicated that the SWIR method outperformed the NIR-SWIR method, when compared to in-situ water-leaving reflectance data. The results showed a good agreement between the AHI-derived TSS and in-situ measured data with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.85, mean absolute error (MAE) of 3.1 mg/L, a root mean square error (RMSE) of 3.9 mg/L, and average percentage difference (APD) of 30% (TSS range 1–40 mg/L). Moreover, the diurnal variation in the turbidity front, using the Normalized Suspended Material Index (NSMI), showed the capability of AHI data to track diurnal variation in turbidity fronts, due to high TSS concentrations at high temporal frequency. The present study indicates that AHI data with high image capturing frequency can be used to map surface TSS concentrations. These TSS measurements at high frequency are not only important for monitoring the sensitive coastal areas but also for scientific understanding of the spatial and temporal variation of TSS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number336
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Atmospheric correction
  • Coastal water quality
  • Diurnal changes
  • Geostationary satellite
  • Himawari-8
  • Satellite-derived TSS
  • Total suspended solids (TSS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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