Evaluation of VIIRS, GOCI, and MODIS Collection 6 AOD retrievals against ground sunphotometer observations over East Asia
Abstract. Persistent high aerosol loadings together with extremely high population densities have raised serious air quality and public health concerns in many urban centers in East Asia. However, ground-based air quality monitoring is relatively limited in this area. Recently, satellite-retrieved Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) at high resolution has become a powerful tool to characterize aerosol patterns in space and time. Using ground AOD observations from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and the Distributed Regional Aerosol Gridded Observation Networks (DRAGON)-Asia Campaign, as well as from handheld sunphotometers, we evaluated emerging aerosol products from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP), the Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI) aboard the Communication, Ocean, and Meteorology Satellite (COMS), and Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (Collection 6) in East Asia in 2012 and 2013. In the case study in Beijing, when compared with AOD observations from handheld sunphotometers, 51 % of VIIRS Environmental Data Record (EDR) AOD, 37 % of GOCI AOD, 33 % of VIIRS Intermediate Product (IP) AOD, 26 % of Terra MODIS C6 3 km AOD, and 16 % of Aqua MODIS C6 3 km AOD fell within the reference expected error (EE) envelope (±0.05 ± 0.15 AOD). Comparing against AERONET AOD over the Japan–South Korea region, 64 % of EDR, 37 % of IP, 61 % of GOCI, 39 % of Terra MODIS, and 56 % of Aqua MODIS C6 3 km AOD fell within the EE. In general, satellite aerosol products performed better in tracking the day-to-day variability than tracking the spatial variability at high resolutions. The VIIRS EDR and GOCI products provided the most accurate AOD retrievals, while VIIRS IP and MODIS C6 3 km products had positive biases.