Short Communication

Validation of aerosol products derived from ocean colour in East African coastal waters

  • F Mélin
  • BN Holben
  • Y Courcoux


The aerosol products derived from the ocean colour missions SeaWiFS and MODIS (Aqua and Terra) were assessed with AERONET field measurements collected at sites in Mozambique (Inhaca) and Kenya (Malindi). The median of absolute relative differences between satellite and AERONET aerosol optical thickness τa at 443 nm varied between 12% and 22% for the different missions and sites. These differences tended to be higher at Malindi and for longer wavelengths. This analysis was supplemented by data collected offshore in the framework of the Maritime Aerosol Network. Results showed a general consistency between satellite missions and with global validation statistics. This suggests that the uncertainties associated with the atmospheric correction scheme and consequently with the distributions of ocean colour reflectance in the study area may be compared with those found in other regions. This result lends some confidence to the use of ocean colour data in the coastal waters of south-eastern Africa.

Keywords: AERONET, atmospheric correction, MODIS, SeaWiFS

African Journal of Marine Science 2013, 35(3): 351–356

Author Biographies

F Mélin
European Commission – Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, TP272, via Fermi, 2749, Ispra, 21027, Italy
BN Holben
Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Sciences Branch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA
Y Courcoux
Observatoire de Physique de l’Atmosphère de la Réunion, Université de la Réunion, CNRS UMS 3365, 15, avenue René Cassin, BP7151, 97715 Saint Denis de la Réunion, France

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X