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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 2 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 557-565, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 19 Jan 2011

Research article | 19 Jan 2011

An analysis of the collection 5 MODIS over-ocean aerosol optical depth product for its implication in aerosol assimilation

Y. Shi1, J. Zhang1, J. S. Reid2, B. Holben3, E. J. Hyer2, and C. Curtis2 Y. Shi et al.
  • 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.

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