Environmental Policy

A New MODIS C6 Dark Target and Deep Blue Merged Aerosol Product on a 3 km Spatial Grid

Bilal, M.; Qiu, Z.; Campbell, J.; Spak, S.; Shen, X.; Nazeer, M.


In Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection (C6) aerosol products, the Dark Target (DT) and Deep Blue (DB) algorithms provide aerosol optical depth (AOD) observations at 3 km (DT3K) and 10 km (DT10K), and at 10 km resolution (DB10K), respectively. In this study, the DB10K is resampled to 3 km grid (DB3K) using the nearest neighbor interpolation technique and merged with DT3K to generate a new DT and DB merged aerosol product (DTB3K) on a 3 km grid using Simplified Merge Scheme (SMS). The goal is to supplement DB10K with high-resolution information over dense vegetation regions where DT3K is susceptible to error. SMS is defined as “an average of the DT3K and DB3K AOD retrievals or the available one with the highest quality flag”. The DT3K and DTB3K AOD retrievals are validated from 2008 to 2012 against cloud-screened and quality-assured AOD from 19 AERONET sites located in Europe. Results show that the percentage of DTB3K retrievals within the expected error (EE = ± (0.05 + 20%)) and data counts are increased by 40% and 11%, respectively, and the root mean square error and the mean bias are decreased by 26% and 54%, respectively, compared to the DT3K retrievals. These results suggest that the DTB3K product is a robust improvement over DT3K alone, and can be used operationally for air quality and climate-related studies as a high-resolution supplement to the current MODIS product suite.