The shape of water-leaving reflectance spectra in the near infrared range 700-900nm is almost invariant for turbid waters and has been analysed and tabulated as a similarity spectrum by normalisation at 780nm. This similarity spectrum is used here for the quality control of seaborne reflectance measurements and for the improvement of sky glint correction. Estimates of the reflectance measurement error associated with imperfect sky glint correction from two different wavelength pairs are shown to be nearly identical. A demonstration of residual reflectance correction for data collected in cloudy, high wave conditions has shown that this correction removes a large source of variability associated with temporal variation of the wave field. The error estimate applied here to seaborne measurements has wide-ranging generality and is appropriate for any water-leaving reflectance spectra derived from seaborne, airborne or satellite borne sensors provided suitable near infrared bands are available.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.