An analysis of the collection 5 MODIS over-ocean aerosol optical depth product for its implication in aerosol assimilation
1Department of Atmospheric Science, University of North Dakota, Grand Folks, ND, USA
2Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA, USA
3NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
Abstract. As an update to our previous use of the collection 4 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) over-ocean aerosol optical depth (AOD) data, we examined ten years of Terra and eight years of Aqua collection 5 data for its potential usage in aerosol assimilation. Uncertainties in the over-ocean MODIS AOD were studied as functions of observing conditions, such as surface characteristics, aerosol optical properties, and cloud artifacts. Empirical corrections and quality assurance procedures were developed and compared to collection 4 data. After applying these procedures, the Root-Mean-Square-Error (RMSE) in the MODIS Terra and Aqua AOD are reduced by 30% and 10–20%, respectively, with respect to AERONET data. Ten years of Terra and eight years of Aqua quality-assured level 3 MODIS over-ocean aerosol products were produced. The newly developed MODIS over-ocean aerosol products will be used in operational aerosol assimilation and aerosol climatology studies, as well as other research based on MODIS products.