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AERONET - Ocean Color
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Ocean Color
AERONET Site Lists (V3)

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The Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET), developed to sustain atmospheric studies at various scales with measurements from worldwide CE-318 distributed autonomous sun-photometers has been extended to support marine applications. This new network component called AERONET – Ocean Color (AERONET-OC), provides the additional capability of measuring the radiance emerging from the sea (i.e., water-leaving radiance) with CE-318 sun-photometers installed on offshore platforms like lighthouses, oceanographic and oil towers. AERONET-OC is instrumental in satellite ocean color validation activities through standardized measurements a) performed at different sites with a single measuring system and protocol, b) calibrated with an identical reference source and method, and c) processed with the same code.

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26 July 2023
  • The AERONET-OC data (Normalized Water Leaving Radiance) procedure of raising from Level 1.5 to Level 2.0 changed starting on July 2023. Previously expert-based quality control procedure (Zibordi et al. 2021) was applied to the qualified data (with final calibration and corresponding Level 2 AOD). Now the automated quality control procedure (Zibordi et al. 2022) is applied to all data not formerly quality controlled by March 2022 and upcoming data.

Zibordi, G., Holben, B. N., Talone, M., D'Alimonte, D., Slutsker, I., Giles, D. M., & Sorokin, M. G. (2021). Advances in the ocean color component of the aerosol robotic network (AERONET-OC). Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 38(4), 725-746.

Zibordi, G., D'Alimonte, D., & Kajiyama, T. (2022). Automated Quality Control of AERONET-OC LWN Data. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 39(12), 1961-1972.

19 April 2022
  • AERONET-OC reaches the 20-year milestone!
10 March 2020
  • In addition to the AERONET-OC LWN data corrected for bidirectional effects relying on the method proposed by Morel et al. (2002, identified as LWN_f/Q), Version 3 data include alternative LWN products are determined based on the correction scheme for bi-directional effects proposed by Lee et al. (2011, identified as LWN_IOP). While LWN_f/Q data are generally recommended for applications related to Chla-dominated waters (i.e., Case 1), the alternative products LWN_IOP appear more suitable for optically complex waters (i.e., Case 2).

André Morel, David Antoine, and Bernard Gentili, "Bidirectional reflectance of oceanic waters: accounting for Raman emission and varying particle scattering phase function," Appl. Opt. 41, 6289-6306 (2002)

Zhong Ping Lee, Keping Du, Kenneth J. Voss, Giuseppe Zibordi, Bertrand Lubac, Robert Arnone, and Alan Weidemann, "An inherent-optical-property-centered approach to correct the angular effects in water-leaving radiance," Appl. Opt. 50, 3155-3167 (2011)

6 March 2019

Recent implementations/revisions:

  • Capability to handle and process data from the CE-318T 12-channel instrument data in addition to the former CE-318 9-channel one.
  • BRDF corrections based on estimated chlorophyll-a concentrations and relying on lookup tables exhibiting 5 nm spectral resolution.
  • Quality control of data relying on the existence of aerosol optical depth values in AERONET Version 3 and, for several sites, revised sun-azimuth thresholds resulting from the analysis of multi-annual data (this may have led to a decrease of the number of data in Version 3 with respect to Version 2).  
In agreement with AERONET requirements, the CE-318-T series of instruments is the only one accepted for future AERONET-OC deployments. All current models used in the field will continue to be supported, but replacement of the analog models (Version 4) produced before 2004 is strongly encouraged.
  • AERONET-OC data have been reprocessed on 14 February 2013 after revising the code to account for different regional system configurations. These changes may have led to minor changes in the water-related data products with respect to the previous version.
  • A complete AERONET-OC data reprocessing was performed on 14 February 2012.  In some cases, the removal of the 1020 nm Level 2.0 aerosol optical depth (AOD) prevented the retrieval of Lwn for all wavelengths; therefore, a reprocessing was necessary to recover Lwn values in the 412-870 nm spectral range.  Early evaluation of the reprocessed data indicated an expected increase in the number of Lwn retrievals at some sites and minor changes in the Lwn absolute values.
  • The first AERONET-Ocean Color Workshop was held from 23-24 February 2011, in Greenbelt, Maryland.

    + Agenda

    + 23 February 23 2011 (~200 MB)
    + 24 February 24 2011
    (~65 MB)



Version 3 Level 1.0 Normalized Water-leaving Radiance
Version 3, Level 1 Global AERONET-Ocean Color Site Distribution

+ Level 1.0 - unscreened data
+ Level 1.5 - cloud cleared and quality controlled data
+ Level 2.0 - quality assured data

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Last Updated: August 09, 2023