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Trends in the difference between primary satellite ocean-color products and in situ reference data at a coastal site are analyzed and presented. Investigated products are the normalized water-leaving radiance LWN and aerosol optical thickness τa from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) and the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer onboard the Aqua and Terra platforms (MODIS-A and MODIS-T, respectively). In situ reference data are from the Ocean-Color component of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET-OC). Restricting the period of investigation to May 2002-April 2010 for SeaWiFS and MODIS-T and July 2002-June 2008 for MODIS-A, results do not indicate any statistically significant trend in the bias of LWN. Biases, determined at around the middle of the considered period, exhibit values from -0.4% to +7.7% for SeaWiFS and from -1.9% to +4.6% for MODIS-T in the 412-555-nm spectral interval. Higher and systematically negative biases from -15.4% to -6.2% are observed for MODIS-A in the same spectral interval. Statistically appreciable trends are observed for τa from SeaWiFS at 443 and 490 nm (approximately +1% per year) and from MODIS-A at 667 nm (+4.7% per year). The biases are very high for both MODIS-A and MODIS-T τa products in the 412-555-nm spectral interval (on average, +21% and +16%, respectively) when compared to SeaWiFS (exhibiting values between +1% and +4%).
Date of Publication: Nov. 2012