Retrieval of aerosol optical depth over land based on a time series technique using MSG/SEVIRI data
A novel approach for the joint retrieval of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and aerosol type, using Meteosat Sec-ond Generation – Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imagers (MSG/SEVIRI) observations in two solar channels, is presented. The retrieval is based on a Time Series (TS) technique, which makes use of the two visible bands at 0.6 µm and 0.8 µm in three orderly scan times (15 min inter-val between two scans) to retrieve the AOD over land. Using the radiative transfer equation for plane-parallel atmosphere, two coupled differential equations for the upward and down-ward fluxes are derived. The boundary conditions for the up-ward and downward fluxes at the top and at the bottom of the atmosphere are used in these equations to provide an ana-lytic solution for the AOD. To derive these fluxes, the aerosol single scattering albedo (SSA) and asymmetry factor are re-quired to provide a solution. These are provided from a set of six pre-defined aerosol types with the SSA and asymme-try factor. We assume one aerosol type for a grid of 1 • ×1 • and the surface reflectance changes little between two sub-sequent observations. A k-ratio approach is used in the in-version to find the best solution of atmospheric properties and surface reflectance. The k-ratio approach assumes that the surface reflectance is little influenced by aerosol scatter-ing at 1.6 µm and therefore the ratio of surface reflectances in the solar band for two subsequent observations can be well-approximated by the ratio of the reflectances at 1.6 µm. A further assumption is that the surface reflectance varies only slightly over a period of 30 min. The algorithm makes use of numerical minimisation routines to obtain the optimal so-lution of atmospheric properties and surface reflectance by selection of the most suitable aerosol type from pre-defined sets. A detailed analysis of the retrieval results shows that it is suitable for AOD retrieval over land from SEVIRI data. Six AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) sites with differ-ent surface types are used for detailed analysis and 42 other AERONET sites are used for validation. From 445 colloca-tions representing stable and homogeneous aerosol type, we find that >75 % of the MSG-retrieved AOD at 0.6 and 0.8 µm values compare favourably with AERONET observed AOD values, within an error envelope of ± 0.05 ± 0.15τ and a high correlation coefficient (R>0.86). The AOD datasets derived Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union. 9168 L. Mei et al.: Retrieval of aerosol optical depth over land using the TS method with SEVIRI data is also compared with collocated AOD products derived from NASA TERRA and AQUA MODIS (The Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer) data using the Dark Dense Vegetation (DDV) method and the Deep Blue algorithms. Using the TS method, the AOD could be retrieved for more pixels than with the NASA Deep Blue algorithm. This method is potentially also useful for surface reflectance retrieval using SEVIRI obser-vations. The current paper focuses on AOD retrieval and analysis, and the analysis and validation of reflectance will be given in a following paper.