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Zibordi, G, Berthon, JF, Melin, F, D'Alimonte, D, Kaitala, S (2009). "Validation of satellite ocean color primary products at optically complex coastal sites: Northern Adriatic Sea, Northern Baltic Proper and Gulf of Finland". REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 113(12), 2574-2591.

The study presents and discusses the application of in situ data from the ocean color component of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET-OC) to assess primary remote sensing products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the AQUA platform and from the Sea-viewing Wide-Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) on the OrbView-2 spacecraft. Three AERONET-OC European coastal sites exhibiting different atmospheric and marine optical properties were considered for the study: the Acqua Alta Oceanographic Tower (AAOT) in the northern Adriatic Sea representing Case-1 and Case-2 moderately sediment dominated waters; and, the Gustaf Dalen Lighthouse Tower (GDLT) in the northern Baltic Proper and the Helsinki Lighthouse Tower (HLT) in the Gulf of Finland, both characterized by Case-2 waters dominated by colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM). The analysis of MODIS derived normalized water-leaving radiance at 551 nm, L-WN(551), has shown relatively good results for all sites with uncertainties of the order of 10% and biases ranging from -1 to -4%. Larger uncertainty and bias have been observed at 443 nm for the AAOT (i.e., 18 and -7%, respectively). At the same center wavelength, results for GDLT and HLT have exhibited much larger uncertainties (i.e., 56 and 67%, respectively) and biases (i.e., 18 and 25%, respectively), which undermine the possibility of presently using remote sensing L-WN data at the blue center wavelengths for bio-optical investigations in the Baltic Sea. An evaluation of satellite derived aerosol optical thickness, tau(a), has shown uncertainties and biases of the order of tens of percent increasing with wavelength at all sites. Specifically, MODIS derived tau(a) at 869 rim, has shown an overestimate of 71% at the AAOT, 101% at GDLT and 91% at HLT, respectively. This result highlights the effects of a limited number of aerosol models for the atmospheric correction process, and might also indicate the need of applying a vicarious calibration factor to the remote sensing data at the 869 nm center wavelength to remove the effects of uncertainties in the atmospheric optical model and the space sensor radiometric calibration. Similar results have been obtained from the analysis of SeaWiFS data. Finally, in view of illustrating the possibility of increasing the accuracy of satellite regional radiometric products, AERONET-OC data have been applied to reduce systematic errors in MODIS and Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) L-WN data likely due to the atmospheric correction process. Results relying on MODIS match-ups for the Baltic Sites (i.e., GDLT and HLT) and MERIS matchups for the AAOT, have indicated a substantial reduction of both uncertainty and bias in the blue and red center wavelengths. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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