The coherence between particulate absorption spectra and remote sensing reflectance spectra is investigated for twelve stations from different water masses in the western Arabian Sea during the post-southwest monsoon time period. The application of derivative analysis, which has been previously employed on absorption spectra, is extended to Rrs spectra to assess whether the pigment composition of a water mass can be remotely estimated. Preliminary analyses show promise, but comparisons with the pigment composition of a water mass can be remotely estimated. Preliminary analyses show promise, but comparisons with coincident HPLC data are required to validate the approach. In addition, reflectance from high concentrations of suspended sediments in turbid, coastal waters may overwhelm the pigment signals in the Rrs spectra, but additional measurements and analyses are required in Case II waters. Physical characterization of the stations using temperature and salinity compare favorably with an optical characterization using scattering and absorption. Multivariate clustering techniques were employed on the derivative spectra of Rrs, particulate absorption, and AC9 total absorption to group the stations. Results from the three different input data sets agree favorably as well, with low, moderate, and high chlorophyll stations clustering separately. Spectrophotometric and AC9 measurements of absorption are compared with model absorption values from the SeaWiFS bio-optical model. At 440 nm, AC9 values exceed the spectrophotometer values which exceed the model values.