CDOM, for Coloured Dissolved Organic Matter, is the absorption coefficient of various dissolved organic materials in the water.
CDOM is an important variable to understand and monitor biogeochemical processes in marine ecosystems. Indeed, CDOM decreases the amount of light penetrating the water. As a consequence, an increase in CDOM results in a decrease in light availability and consequently in a decrease in photosynthesis and plankton growth. As plankton forms the basis of the marine food chain and is the major source of oxygen, sensing CDOM and its evolutions is of major importance.
CDOM can be measures through water sampling or estimated by satellites from ocean colour. However, most of the time, satellite-derived data estimate CDM (coloured dissolved and detrital matter) which is the CDOM and non-algal particles (NAP) retrieved together.