Evaluation of VIIRS, GOCI, and MODIS Collection 6 AOD retrievals against ground sunphotometer observations over East Asia

Q. Xiao, H. Zhang, M. Choi, S. Li, S. Kondragunta, J. Kim, B. Holben, R. C. Levy, Y. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


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 3km AOD, and 16% of Aqua MODIS C6 3km 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 3km 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 3km products had positive biases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1269
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 3

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work of Y. Liu and Q. Xiao was partially supported by the NASA Applied Sciences Program (grants NNX11AI53G and NNX14AG01G, PI: Liu). We would like to acknowledge the AERONET team, I. Sano and the DRAGON-Japan team, the Yonsi team and their collaborators in S. Korea, and CARSNET and CAS teams in and around Beijing for providing data support in this study. The AERONET project was supported by the NASA EOS project office, and by Hal B. Maring, Radiation Sciences Program, NASA Headquarters. This research was a part of the project titled "Research for Applications of Geostationary Ocean Color Imager", funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea. The MODIS project was supported by the NASA Earth Science Program, grant NNH13ZDA001N-TERAQEA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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