Articles | Volume 15, issue 20
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed underthe Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
A method to retrieve super-thin cloud optical depth over ocean background with polarized sunlight
Abstract. In this work, an algorithm that uses the polarization angle of the backscattered solar radiation to detect clouds with optical depth (OD) < ~ 0.3 is further developed. We find that at viewing angles within ± ∼ 8° around the backscattering direction, the p-polarized intensity that is parallel to the meridian plane of reflected light from the surface is sensitive to, and nearly linearly related to, the optical depth of super-thin clouds. Moreover, our sensitivity study suggests that the p-polarized intensity at these viewing angles is not sensitive to the ocean surface conditions. Using this property of p-polarized intensity, super-thin clouds' optical depth can be retrieved.