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- A strategy for retrieving aerosol optical depth (AOD) under conditions of thin cirrus coverage from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is presented. We adopt an empirical method that derives the cirrus contribution to measured reflectance in seven bands from the visible to shortwave infrared (0.47, 0.55, 0.65, 0.86, 1.24, 1.63, and 2.12 m, commonly used for AOD retrievals) by using the correlations between the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) reflectance at 1.38 micron and these bands. The 1.38 micron band is used due to its strong absorption by water vapor and allows us to extract the contribution of cirrus clouds to TOA reflectance and create cirrus-corrected TOA reflectances in the seven bands of interest. These cirrus-corrected TOA reflectances are then used in the aerosol retrieval algorithm to determine cirrus-corrected AOD. The cirrus correction algorithm reduces the cirrus contamination in the AOD data as shown by a decrease in both magnitude and spatial variability of AOD over areas contaminated by thin cirrus. Comparisons of retrieved AOD against Aerosol Robotic Network observations at Nauru in the equatorial Pacific reveal that the cirrus correction procedure improves the data quality: the percentage of data within the expected error +/-(0.03 + 0.05 AOD) increases from 40% to 80% for cirrus-corrected points only and from 80% to 86% for all points (i.e., both corrected and uncorrected retrievals). Statistical comparisons with Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) retrievals are also carried out. A high correlation (R = 0.89) between the CALIOP cirrus optical depth and AOD correction magnitude suggests potential applicability of the cirrus correction procedure to other MODIS-like sensors.
- Document ID: 20140005406.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres; Volume 118; Issue 17; 10,111 - 10,124.
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