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Extrapolation of the aerosol reflectance from the near-infrared to the visible: the single-scattering epsilon vs multiple-scattering epsilon method

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In the atmospheric correction algorithm for Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor, the effects of the spectral variation of the aerosol radiance contributions at the two near-infrared (NIR) bands are estimated directly from sensor-measured radiance. The aerosol effects at the NIR are then extrapolated into the visible through a process of aerosol model selection from evaluation of the NIR single-scattering epsilon value, which is defined as the ratio of the single-scattering aerosol reflectance between two NIR bands. The aerosol radiance contribution at the visible wavelengths is then removed. In this paper, a slightly different approach in the aerosol model selection and extrapolation, i.e. using the NIR multiple-scattering epsilon instead of the single-scattering epsilon, is examined. The NIR multiple-scattering epsilon is the ratio of the aerosol multiple-scattering reflectance between two NIR wavelengths. Simulations show that, in general, both methods give comparable results. Statistically, more than 95% of cases in the retrieved ocean colour spectrum are within required accuracy for both methods. For clear atmosphere, however, the results of the atmospheric correction using the single-scattering epsilon method usually performed slightly better than the multiple-scattering epsilon method. On the other hand, for the large aerosol optical thickness the multiple-scattering epsilon method has slightly better retrievals for the Tropospheric aerosols. Some detailed analyses and discussions are provided to explain differences in these two approaches for extrapolating and retrieving the aerosol effects in the visible.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Maryland Baltimore County NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Code 970.2 Greenbelt MD 20771 USA, Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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