Mikelsons, K; Wang, MH; Jiang, LD (2020). Statistical evaluation of satellite ocean color data retrievals. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 237, 111601.

We develop a statistical approach to evaluate the performance of the ocean color data processing system for satellite-derived ocean color data products based on temporal stability of retrievals. We use the Multi-Sensor Level-1 to Level-2 (MSL12) ocean color data processing system to obtain the normalized water-leaving reflectance rho(wN)(lambda) spectra from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) measurements. The deviations of rho(wN)(lambda) spectra from temporally and spatially averaged values are investigated, and the statistics with respect to various retrieval parameters are collected, including the solar-sensor geometry (solar-zenith, sensor-zenith, and relative azimuth angles), and various ancillary data (surface wind speed, surface atmospheric pressure, water vapor amount, and ozone concentration). The performance of MSL12 is also evaluated with respect to other intermediate retrieval parameters. The study shows that MSL12 produces statistically consistent VIIRS ocean color retrievals in the global open ocean, with respect to retrieval geometry parameters, as well as the ancillary inputs.