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Original Research Papers

Improved retrieval of aerosol optical thickness from MODIS measurements through derived surface reflectance over Nanjing, China

Authors:

Yong Zha ,

Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Ministry of Education, College of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, CN
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Qiao Wang,

Satellite Environment Center, Ministry of Environmental Protection, CN
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Jie Yuan,

Shaanxi Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, CN
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Jay Gao,

School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, NZ
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Jianjun Jiang,

Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Ministry of Education, College of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, CN
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Heng Lu,

Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Ministry of Education, College of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, CN
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Jiazhu Huang

Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Ministry of Education, College of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, CN
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Abstract

Determination of surface reflectance in the red and blue channels is a critical step in retrieving aerosol optical thickness (AOT) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measurements. The MODIS Collection 005 (C005) aerosol algorithm uses a ratio method to determine the surface reflectance in the red (0.66 μm) and blue (0.47 μm) channels from the surface reflectance in the 2.1 μm channel using global surface reflectance relationships. In this study, we attempted to improve the retrieval of AOT from MODIS measurements using a new surface parameterization derived using ground-based sunphotometer data and 6S radiative transfer code. The estimated surface reflectance in the red, blue and near-IR channel were used to derive ratio between them for use in the new retrieval from MODIS data. Our results demonstrate that the ratio of surface reflectance in the red and blue channels to the surface reflectance in the 2.1 μm channel varies seasonally in the Xianlin district of Nanjing City, China. These ratios are different from those assumed by the MODIS aerosol algorithm for the retrieval of AOT over land. The use of the appropriate ratio for the study area in a given season significantly improves the accuracy with the absolute error decreased from 0.15 to 0.08 and the relative error reduced from 31% to 17% in retrieving AOT from MODIS data.

How to Cite: Zha, Y., Wang, Q., Yuan, J., Gao, J., Jiang, J., Lu, H. and Huang, J., 2011. Improved retrieval of aerosol optical thickness from MODIS measurements through derived surface reflectance over Nanjing, China. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 63(5), pp.952–958. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2011.00545.x
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  Published on 01 Jan 2011
 Accepted on 9 May 2011            Submitted on 15 Oct 2010

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