Minimize Dataset Details
Earth Topics (Applications)
  • Ocean and Coast
  • Ocean Colour/Biology

  • Atmosphere
  • Clouds/Precipitation

    Instrument type
    Date of Launch:
    1 March 2002
    Mission Status:
    Out of service since May 2012 
    Orbit Height:
    800 km 
    Orbit type:
    Swath Width:
    5 - 1150 km
    MERIS Level 3 Demonstration Products
    (ENVISAT.MERIS.Level 3)
    (2870) recent views
    Last update: 19 June 2015

    MERIS is a 68.5 degree field-of-view pushbroom imaging spectrometer that measures the solar radiation reflected by the Earth, at a ground spatial resolution of 300m, in 15 spectral bands, programmable in width and position, in the visible and near infra-red. MERIS allows global coverage of the Earth in 3 days.

    Taking advantage of the level 2 MERIS data re-processing, a number of demonstration MERIS Level 3 products have been generated for the complete mission. They have been processed using the standard L2 products processed with the last processor version.

    The first set of products are marine products:

    • Chlorophyll Concentration for the open ocean (case I)

      Chlorophyll concentration is a very convenient measure of abundance of phytoplankton biomass, which has an important role in fixing CO2 through photosynthesis.

    • Water leaving radiances at 412, 443, 490, 510 and 560 nm.
    • Aerosol optical thickness at 865 nm and the angstroem coefficient.

      The aerosol retrieval is an important step in the atmopheric correction, but it also gives an indication on the status of the atmosphere (pollution, dust storm...etc).

    The second set of products are land products:

    • The aerosol optical thickness at 443 nm and the angstroem coefficient.

      The aerosol properties give information on the air quality and aerosol types over land. It can be used as well to correct the land reflectance from the atmospheric effect.

    • The MERIS Global Vegetation Index (MGVI)

      The MGVI is the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetcally Active Radiation (FAPAR) calculated from MERIS data. It is a fundamental parameter for monitoring the state of the vegetation and for the environmental studies. It represents the fraction of the solar energy absorbed by the vegetation which is the key parameter for the photosynthetic process.

    • Albedo Map

      Albedo is the measure of the reflectivity of the earth surface. It is the ratio of the radiation reflected to the amount of solar radiation incident upon it. The fraction, usually expressed as a percentage from 0% to 100%, is an important concept in climatology. The objective is to derive 16-days averaged maps of spectral and broadband albedos from data acquired by the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) at a spatial resolution of 0.05?? x 0.05??.

      The global surface albedo maps will be used as auxiliary parameters in the ENVISAT Ground Segment and will significantly improve the generation of the standard MERIS Level2 atmospheric products. MERIS albedo maps will also be used in climate and environmental studies.

      The currently available year 2003 albedo products are subject for further improvement. The complete set covering the years 2002 - 2006 will be available in early 2007.

    The third set of products are atmosphere products:

    • The water vapour over clear sky

      Water vapour is the most effective greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It influences weather and climate and is responsible for cloud development, precipitation, and modulates the atmospheric radiative energy transfer.

      It effects weather and climate and is responsible for cloud development, precipitation, and modulates the atmospheric radiative energy transfer. Therefore it influences the energy balance of the earth and, in turn, also effects the temperature and circulation of the earth-atmosphere system.

    In addition, two other quality products have been processed:

    • The aerosol optical thickness at 550 nm both over land and sea.
    • The repartition of the ABSO_DUST flag

    The ABSO_DUST flag represents the Dust-like absorbing aerosol selected for atmosphere correction.

    Acknowledgements: ACRI, JRC, Brockmann Consult, GRID On demand team at ESRIN.

    Data Set Specifications
    Spatial coverage: 90 N, 90 S, 180 W, 180 E
    Temporal coverage: 2003 - 2012-04-08
    Processing level
    Level 3
    How to access this data

    Data are available online from the MERIS Level 3 Data Access Page.

    Terms & Conditions applicable
    Utilisation of this data is subject to ESA's Earth Observation Terms and Conditions
    Auxiliary data
    MERIS auxiliary data
    Available via SPPA


    MERIS Product Handbook


    Demonstration MERIS Level 3 products


    More MERIS Documents


    MERIS Products Specifications