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A three-year time-series of radiometric data collected with an autonomous above-water system at the Acqua Alta Oceanographic Tower in the northern Adriatic Sea has shown its applicability for monitoring the trophic state of marine waters and its suitability for the validation of remote sensing products in coastal areas. Specifically, the radiometric data have been used to produce surface chlorophyll a concentration (Chla) by applying a regional algorithm proposed for the northern Adriatic Sea coastal waters. A comparison based on 41 match-ups between these Chla and reference values from high-performance liquid chromatography, has shown an average absolute difference of 32%. The comparison of Chla derived from remote sensing SeaWiFS and in situ above-water radiances has shown an average absolute difference of 21% for 183 match-ups, when the same regional algorithm is applied to both types of radiometric data.