• CDOM;
  • CO2;
  • biogeochemistry

[1] Published algorithms were employed to convert SeaWiFS images of normalized water-leaving-radiance to absorption images of CDOM (chromophoric dissolved organic matter). The best performing algorithm was employed to produce decadal time-series of CDOM monthly composites from 1998 through 2007. Deficits in CDOM absorption coefficient for surface waters across the shelf over the summer were then acquired relative to the uniformly mixed waters prior to and following stratification (spring and fall, respectively). Estimates were attained of the photochemical oxidation of carbon to CO2 on and beyond the shelf of the Middle Atlantic Bight. Approximately 3–7 × 1010 g C as CO2 were estimated to be produced via photooxidation of CDOM over the summertime, highlighting the significance of CDOM photochemistry and pointing out the importance of CO2 photoproduction at a global scale. In principle, this approach could be applied to global ocean color data.