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Aerosol Optical Depth Retrieval over Land using Meteosat-8 SEVIRI Data

Christoph Popp(1), Nando Foppa(1), Stefan Wunderle(1) and Adrian Hauser(2)

(1) University of Berne, Hallerstr. 12, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
(2) iTECH Engineering AG, Bischmattstrasse 7, 2544 Bettlach, Switzerland


Geostationary sensors bear the potential to derive and analyze daily and seasonal trends of aerosol optical depth (AOD) from spatially homogeneous data. However, to date most AOD retrieval algorithms from geostationary sensors are limited to ocean surfaces. Thus, a multitemporal technique to retrieve AOD over land from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager (SEVIRI) onboard the geostationary Meteosat-8 satellite is presented. The proposed method takes advantage of SEVIRI's high temporal resolution of 15 minutes and improved spatial resolution in comparison to its predecessors Meteosat-1 to 7.

The crucial issue is the decomposition of the measured signal into its surface and atmospheric contributing parts. Assumed that surface characteristics remain constant during a certain time period, changes in observed reflectances can be assigned to varying atmospheric constituents and varying sun zenith and azimuth angles. Surface reflectance is estimated by the determination of the lowest reflectance within the observed time period for each satellite observation time of the day. Since clouds seriously affect the retrieval of AOD, clouds, subpixel clouds, and cloud shadows are masked out and the data set is corrected for atmospheric gases prior to the AOD retrieval. Finally, AOD is calculated by means of the radiative transfer code SMAC.

The study area covers Switzerland and its neighboring areas (45.0N-48.5N, 5.0E-12.0E). SEVIRI data for the entire month of August, 2004 acquired daily between 6:12 and 17:12 UTC are used in order to test the method. In comparison to sun-photometer measurements from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and remotely sensed aerosol products (MODIS), first results show promising AOD values.


Full paper

Workshop poster

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry