Evaluation of Ocean Color Atmospheric Correction Methods for Sentinel-3 OLCI Using Global Automatic In Situ Observations

Huizeng Liu, Xianqiang He, Qingquan Li, Xianjun Hu, Joji Ishizaka, Susanne Kratzer, Chao Yang, Tiezhu Shi, Shuibo Hu, Qiming Zhou, Guofeng Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The Ocean and Land Color Instrument (OLCI) on Sentinel-3 is one of the most advanced ocean color satellite sensors for aquatic environment monitoring. However, limited studies have been focused on a comprehensive assessment of atmospheric correction (AC) methods for OLCI. In an attempt to fill the gap, this study evaluated seven different AC methods for OLCI using global automatic in situ observations from Aerosol Robotic Network-Ocean Color (AERONET-OC). Results showed that the POLYnomial-based algorithm applied to MERIS (POLYMER) had the best performance for bands with wavelength ≤ 443 nm, and the SeaDAS method based on 779 and 865 nm was the best for longer spectral bands; however, SeaDAS (SeaWiFS Data Analysis System) processing algorithm based on 779 and 1020 nm, as well as 865 and 1020 nm, obtained degraded AC performance; Case 2 Regional CoastColor (C2RCC) also produced large uncertainties; Baseline AC (BAC) method might be better than SeaDAS method; and simple subtraction method was the worst except for turbid waters. POLYMER and C2RCC underestimated high remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) at red and green bands; SeaDAS method based on 779 and 865 nm held an advantage for clear waters over the other two band combinations, while their difference turned small for turbid waters. AC uncertainties generally impacted the performance of chlorophyll retrievals. POLYMER outperformed other methods for chlorophyll retrieval. This study provides a good reference for selecting a suitable AC method for aquatic environment monitoring with Sentinel-3 OLCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4206319
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Atmospheric correction (AC)
  • ocean color remote sensing
  • Sentinel-3 OLCI
  • system vicarious calibration (SVC)


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