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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 46, Iss. 7 — Mar. 1, 2007
  • pp: 1107–1119

Importance and estimation of aerosol vertical structure in satellite ocean-color remote sensing

Lucile Duforêt, Robert Frouin, and Philippe Dubuisson  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 46, Issue 7, pp. 1107-1119 (2007)

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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 5 × 10 4 requirement in the blue, even for small aerosol optical thickness, preventing accurate retrieval of chlorophyll-a [Chl-a] concentration. Estimating aerosol scale height or altitude from measurements in the oxygen A band, possible with the polarization and directionality of the Earth's reflectance instrument and medium resolution imaging spectrometer, is expected to improve significantly the accuracy of the water reflectance retrievals and yield acceptable [Chl-a] concentration estimates in the presence of absorbing aerosols.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(010.1110) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Aerosols

Original Manuscript: July 11, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: September 22, 2006
Published: February 12, 2007

Virtual Issues
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)

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