The vertical distribution of absorbing aerosols affects the reflectance of the ocean-atmosphere system. The effect, due to the coupling between molecular scattering and aerosol absorption, is important in the visible, especially in the blue, where molecular scattering is effective, and becomes negligible in the near infrared. It increases with increasing Sun and view zenith angles and aerosol optical thickness and with decreasing scattering albedo but is practically independent of wind speed. Relative differences between the top of the atmosphere reflectance simulated with distinct vertical distributions may reach approximately 10% or even 20%, depending on aerosol absorption.
In atmospheric correction algorithms, the differences are directly translated into errors on the retrieved water reflectance. These errors may reach values well above the
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 11, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: September 22, 2006
Published: February 12, 2007
Vol. 2, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Lucile Duforêt, Robert Frouin, and Philippe Dubuisson, "Importance and estimation of aerosol vertical structure in satellite ocean-color remote sensing," Appl. Opt. 46, 1107-1119 (2007)