NOAA CoastWatch East Coast Node
Data Types Info Data Types: SST         - AVHRR                 - GOES                 - Geo-Polar Blended                 - PODAAC MUR Chl-a       - MODIS Clarity     - K490 (MODIS)                 - K490 (MODIS HiRes)                 - K490 (OLCI HiRes)                 - Rrs667 (MODIS)                 - Rrs672 (VIIRS)                 - TSM True Color (VIIRS)
Data Access Info Direct Download: HTTP Direct Download: FTP
Region Info Regions: U.S. East Coast North East Coast Gulf of Maine Massachusetts & RI Bays Mid-Atlantic Coast NY-NJ Bight & Long Island Sound Chesapeake & Delaware Bays South East Coast Carolina Coast Florida - Georgia Coast
CoastWatch Utilities Time Series Tool ERDDAP MGET


Total Suspended Matter (TSM) for Chesapeake Bay

Satellite-derived total suspended matter (TSM) is a measure of the concentration of material in the surface water including mud, silt, and other fine-scale debris.

The algorithm relates in-water sediment concentration measurements to the amount of light leaving the water -- the light that is eventually seen by the satellite. Red visible light is a good indicator of in-water sediment. In this case, the red visible band (645 nm) on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on-board the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua satellite is used to calculate TSM.

In-water measurements of suspended sediment were taken over several seasons in Chesapeake Bay and related to the normalized water-leaving radiance of the MODIS 645 nm band, simulated from hyperspectral in-water radiance measurements. The in-water hyperspectral radiance measurements were taken simultaneously with the in-water suspended sediment measurements.

Because the MODIS red visible band is a high-resolution band at 250 m spatial resolution, the TSM product provides very high spatial detail, which is useful for monitoring sediment distribution patterns in Chesapeake Bay tributaries, as well as the Bay's main stem.

TSM is a concentration measurement, so units are in mg/L.

NOAA CoastWatch East Code Node provides mapped satellite swath products for each Aqua MODIS overpass over Chesapeake Bay, and mapped daily composite products of TSM.

Data Access
  • See the Data Access page for data offerings by region.
  • Or use Direct Download to retrieve files by time-interval and region: HTTP, FTP
Ondrusek, M., et al., The development of a new optical total suspended matter algorithm for the Chesapeake Bay, Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 119, 2012.

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