Liang, SL, Zhong, B, Fang, HL (2006). Improved estimation of aerosol optical depth from MODIS imagery over land surfaces. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 104(4), 416-425.

Estimation of aerosol loadings is of great importance to the studies on global climate changes. The current Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aerosol estimation algorithm over land is based on the dark-object approach, which works only over densely vegetated (dark) surfaces. In this study, we develop a new aerosol estimation algorithm that uses the temporal signatures from a sequence of MODIS imagery over land surfaces, particularly bright surfaces. The estimated aerosol optical depth is validated by Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) measurements. Case studies indicate that this algorithm can retrieve aerosol optical depths reasonably well from the winter MODIS imagery at seven sites: four sites in the greater Washington, DC area, USA; Beijing City, China; Banizoumbou, Niger, Africa; and Bratts Lake, Canada. The MODIS aerosol estimation algorithm over land (MOD04), however, does not perform well over these non-vegetated surfaces. This new algorithm has the potential to be used for other satellite images that have similar temporal resolutions. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.