Abstract

Using simulations, we determine the influence of stratospheric aerosol and thin cirrus clouds on the performance of the proposed atmospheric correction algorithm for the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) data over the oceans. Further, we investigate the possibility of using the radiance exiting the top of the atmosphere in the 1.38-µm water vapor absorption band to remove their effects prior to application of the algorithm. The computations suggest that for moderate optical thicknesses in the stratosphere, i.e., τs ≲ 0.15, the stratospheric aerosol–cirrus cloud contamination does not seriously degrade the MODIS except for the combination of large (∼60°) solar zenith angles and large (∼45°) viewing angles, for which multiple-scattering effects can be expected to be particularly severe. The performance of a hierarchy of stratospheric aerosol/cirrus cloud removal procedures for employing the 1.38-µm water vapor absorption band to correct for stratospheric aerosol/cirrus clouds, ranging from simply subtracting the reflectance at 1.38 µm from that in the visible bands, to assuming that their optical properties are known and carrying out multiple-scattering computations of their effect by the use of the 1.38-µm reflectance-derived concentration, are studied for stratospheric aerosol optical thicknesses at 865 nm as large as 0.15 and for cirrus cloud optical thicknesses at 865 nm as large as 1.0. Typically, those procedures requiring the most knowledge concerning the aerosol optical properties (and also the most complex) performed the best; however, for τs ≲ 0.15, their performance is usually not significantly better than that found by applying the simplest correction procedure. A semiempirical algorithm is presented that permits accurate correction for thin cirrus clouds with τs as large as unity when an accurate estimate of the cirrus cloud scattering phase function is provided, and as large as 0.5 when a coarse approximation to the phase function is used. Given estimates of the stratospheric aerosol optical properties, the implementation of the algorithm by using a set of lookup tables appears to be straightforward.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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