The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) remote-sensing radiometric and chlorophyll-a (chl-a) concentration products for the South China Sea (SCS) from
October 2003 to May 2010 were assessed using in situ data. A strict spatiotemporal match-up method was used to minimize the temporal variability effects of atmosphere and seawater around the measurement site. A comparison of the remote-sensing reflectance (R
of the three sensors with in situ values from the open waters of the SCS showed that the mean absolute percentage difference varied from 13% to 55% in the 412–560 nm spectral range. Generally, the MERIS radiometric products exhibited higher typical uncertainties and bias
than the SeaWiFS and MODIS products. The R
rs(443) to R
rs(555/551/560) band ratios of the satellite data were in good agreement with in situ observations for these sensors. The SeaWiFS, MODIS, and MERIS chl-a products overestimated in situ
values by 74%, 42%, and 120%, respectively. MODIS retrieval accuracy was better than those of the other sensors, with MERIS performing the worst. When the match-up criteria were relaxed, the assessment results degraded systematically. Therefore, strict spatiotemporal match-up is recommended
to minimize the possible influences of small-scale variation in geophysical properties around the measurement site. Coastal and open-sea areas in the SCS should be assessed separately because their biooptical properties are different and the results suggest different atmospheric correction
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Document Type: Research Article
State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510301, China
First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Qingdao, 266061, China
National Satellite Meteorological Centre, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, 100081, China
June 18, 2014
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