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Bennouna, YS; Cachorro, VE; Toledano, C; Berjon, A; Prats, N; Fuertes, D; Gonzalez, R; Rodrigo, R; Torres, B; de Frutos, AM (2011). Comparison of atmospheric aerosol climatologies over southwestern Spain derived from AERONET and MODIS. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 115(5), 1272-1284.

Abstract
The southwestern area of Spain, by its geographical and climatological conditions, is a key location for the characterization of atmospheric aerosol properties. The present study is aimed at evaluating the reliability of satellite-based aerosol climatologies, as inferred from level 2 standard aerosol products such as the Terra-MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Radiometer) MODO4 aerosol product, with an application over this region during the period 2000-2008. This evaluation is carried out by means of comparison with ground-based data from the AERONET station of El Arenosillo (Spain, 37.1N, 6.7W), which has been providing continuous data since 2000. The focus of this paper is the climatology of two aerosol optical parameters: the aerosol optical depth (ADD) and the Angstrom exponent. AERONET ground-based measurements give an annual mean value of 0.16 +/- 0.12 and a median of 0.12 for the AOD, and a mean value of 1.20 +/- 0.47 for the Angstrom exponent The seasonal pattern is characterized by two maxima, the most important maximum occurs in summer months, and the other one in late-winter/early-spring. Lowest values appear in fall and winter, however, a local minimum is observed in July which is only detected with the long-term data series. The mean climatological AOD based on AERONET exhibits complex seasonal patterns (i.e. with multiple local extrema), which are not always captured by MODIS-based climatology. MODIS only reproduces low values of the AOD in winter and high values in summer, as well as the local minimum of July which is sharper when using over-land retrievals. The time series of the AOD retrieved from MODIS both over land and ocean are in relatively good agreement with the ground-based measurements, with a monthly overestimation of about 30% on average, and higher differences in spring. Seasonal patterns from MODIS are better reproduced over land than over ocean. The agreement between daily AERONET and MODIS, as assessed by linear regression, gives correlation coefficients above 80% and an intercept bias below 0.03. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI:
0034-4257

ISSN:
10.1016/j.rse.2011.01.011

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