Validation of MODIS ocean-colour products in the coastal waters of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea

Abstract

An extensive study collected in situ data along the Yellow Sea (YS) and East China Sea (ECS) to assess the radiometric properties and the concentration of the water constituents derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Thirteen high quality match-ups were obtained for evaluating the MODIS estimates of Rrs(λ), chlorophyll a (Chi a) and concentrations of suspended particulate sediment matter (SPM). For MODIS Rrs(λ), the mean absolute percentage difference (APD) was in the range of 20%-36%, and the highest uncertainty appeared at 412 nm, whereas the band ratio of Rrs(λ) at 488 nm compared with that at 547 nm was highly consistent, with an APD of 7%. A combination of near-infrared bands and shortwave infrared wavelengths atmosphere correction algorithm (NIR-SWIR algorithm) was applied to the MODIS data, and the estimation accuracy of RIS were improved at most of the visible spectral bands except 645 nm, 667 nm and 678 nm. Two ocean-colour empirical algorithms for Chi a estimation were applied to the processed data, the results indicated that the accuracy of the derived Chi a values was obviously improved, the four-band algorithms outperformed the other algorithm for measured and simulated datasets, and the minimum APD was 35%. The SPM was also quantified. Two regional and two coastal SPM algorithms were modified according to the in situ data. By comparison, the modified Tassan model had a higher accuracy for the application along the YS and ECS with an APD of 21%. However, given the limited match-up dataset and the potential influence of the aerosol properties on atmosphere correction, further research is required to develop additional algorithms especially for the low Chi a coastal water.

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Acknowledgements

This work was initiated when Lingling Jiang visited Plymouth Marine Laboratory funded by Dalian Maritime University and got many help from team members there for data processing. We thank all crew members on the cruises for their hard work in collecting and analyzing the in situ data. We also thank the NASA for their help with providing MODIS data.

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Correspondence to Lingling Jiang.

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Foundation item: The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 41506197 and 41406199; the Doctoral Scientific Research Foundation of Liaoning Province under contract No. 201501190; the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities under contract No. 3132017110.

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Jiang, L., Guo, X., Wang, L. et al. Validation of MODIS ocean-colour products in the coastal waters of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea. Acta Oceanol. Sin. 39, 91–101 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13131-019-1522-3

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Keywords

  • MODIS
  • turbid waters
  • chlorophyll a
  • SPM
  • retrieval algorithms
  • Yellow and East China Sea