Evaluation of NASA Deep Blue/SOAR aerosol retrieval algorithms applied to AVHRR...

Sayer, A. M., N. C. Hsu, J. Lee, N. Carletta, S.-H. Chen, and A. Smirnov (2017), Evaluation of NASA Deep Blue/SOAR aerosol retrieval algorithms applied to AVHRR measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 122, doi:10.1002/2017JD026934.

The Deep Blue (DB) and Satellite Ocean Aerosol Retrieval (SOAR) algorithms have previously been applied to observations from sensors like the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) and Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) to provide records of midvisible aerosol optical depth (AOD) and related quantities over land and ocean surfaces, respectively. Recently, DB and SOAR have also been applied to Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) observations from several platforms (NOAA11, NOAA14, and NOAA18), to demonstrate the potential for extending the DB and SOAR AOD records. This study provides an evaluation of the initial version (V001) of the resulting AVHRR-based AOD data set, including validation against Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and ship-borne observations, and comparison against both other AVHRR AOD records and MODIS/SeaWiFS products at select long-term AERONET sites. Although it is difficult to distil error characteristics into a simple expression, the results suggest that one standard deviation confidence intervals on retrieved AOD of ±(0.03 + 15%) over water and ±(0.05 + 25%) over land represent the typical level of uncertainty, with a tendency toward negative biases in high-AOD conditions, caused by a combination of algorithmic assumptions and sensor calibration issues. Most of the available validation data are for NOAA18 AVHRR, although performance appears to be similar for the NOAA11 and NOAA14 sensors as well. Plain Language Summary Aerosols are small particles in the atmosphere like desert dust, volcanic ash, smoke, industrial haze, and sea spray. Understanding them is important for applications such as hazard avoidance, air quality and human health, and climate studies. Satellite instruments provide an important tool to study aerosol loadings over the world. This paper evaluates a new satellite-based data set of aerosol loading, from a set of instruments called the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRRs), using ground-based observations and by comparing to other satellite data products.

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Research Program: 
Applied Sciences Program (ASP)
Atmospheric Composition
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)