The vertical distribution of absorbing aerosols affects the reflectance of the ocean-atmosphere system. The effect, due to the coupling between molecular scattering and aerosol absorption, is important in the visible, especially in the blue, where molecular scattering is effective, and becomes negligible in the near infrared. It increases with increasing Sun and view zenith angles and aerosol optical thickness and with decreasing scattering albedo but is practically independent of wind speed. Relative differences between the top of the atmosphere reflectance simulated with distinct vertical distributions may reach approximately 10% or even 20%, depending on aerosol absorption. In atmospheric correction algorithms, the differences are directly translated into errors on the retrieved water reflectance. These errors may reach values well above the requirement in the blue, even for small aerosol optical thickness, preventing accurate retrieval of chlorophyll-a [Chl-a] concentration. Estimating aerosol scale height or altitude from measurements in the oxygen A band, possible with the polarization and directionality of the Earth's reflectance instrument and medium resolution imaging spectrometer, is expected to improve significantly the accuracy of the water reflectance retrievals and yield acceptable [Chl-a] concentration estimates in the presence of absorbing aerosols.
© 2007 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
More Like This
Howard R. Gordon, Tao Du, and Tianming Zhang
Appl. Opt. 36(33) 8670-8684 (1997)
Didier Ramon and Richard Santer
Appl. Opt. 40(18) 3060-3075 (2001)
Appl. Opt. 45(35) 8951-8963 (2006)