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Mei, LL; Xue, Y; Xu, H; Guang, J; Li, YJ; Wang, Y; Ai, JW; Jiang, SZ; He, XW (2012). Validation and analysis of aerosol optical thickness retrieval over land. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 33(3), 781-803.

Aerosol optical thickness (AOT) retrieval from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data has been well established over oceans, but this is not the case over land. In this article, the AOT data sets retrieved by exploiting the synergy of TERRA and AQUA MODIS data (SYNTAM) over land are validated with ground-based measurements from Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) data, as well as from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) AOT products, amended with a DeepBlue algorithm in Asian (15-60 degrees N and 35-150 degrees E) and American areas (30-40 degrees N and 100-120 degrees W). Overall, AOT retrieval errors of around 10-20% against AERONET data are found at both 1 and 10 km resolutions. The spectral and spatial sensitivities of the AOT correlation are explicitly addressed at both 1 and 10 km resolutions. Three window sizes, 1 x 1, 3 x 3 and 5 x 5, are tested for SYNTAM to evaluate the effect of window size on parameter statistics, and it is found that the accuracy of the SYNTAM method decreases with increasing window size. The validations at three spectral bands of 0.47, 0.55 and 0.66 mu m show that the accuracies of different bands are 80-90% similar, and that the band at 0.47 mu m has the highest accuracy most of the time. Comparisons between AOT data sets derived from the SYNTAM and AOT products from the NASA Dark Dense Vegetation (DDV) and the DeepBlue algorithms are also conducted using data from the USA. More pixels with AOT values for the area could be retrieved using the SYNTAM method with the NASA DeepBlue algorithm. The AOT values of more than 90% of pixels derived by both methods are very close. This clearly shows that AOT data from SYNTAM are very close to the AOT data set from the NASA DeepBlue algorithm in cloud-free areas. The synergic use of both the SYNTAM and DeepBlue algorithms could produce AOT values over much greater land areas.



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