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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(1), 76;

Ocean Dynamics Observed by VIIRS Day/Night Band Satellite Observations

1,2,* and 1
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, E/RA3, 5830 University Research Ct., College Park, MD 20740, USA
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Ocean Remote Sensing)
PDF [2334 KB, uploaded 8 January 2018]


Three cases of Day/Night Band (DNB) observations of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) are explored for applications to assess the ocean environment and monitor ocean dynamics. An approach to use the ratio between the target radiance and the reference radiance was developed in order to better assess the ocean diurnal and short-term environmental changes with VIIRS DNB observations. In the La Plata River Estuary, the sediment fronts showed 20–25 km diurnal inshore-offshore movements on 13 March 2017. In the waters off the coast of Argentina in the South Atlantic, VIIRS DNB measurements provided both daytime and nighttime observations and monitoring of the algal bloom development and migration between 24 and 26 March 2016. This algal bloom generally kept the same spatial patterns, but moved nearly 20 km eastward in the three-day period. In the Yangtze River Estuary and Hangzhou Bay region along China’s east coast, VIIRS DNB observations also revealed complicated coastal dynamic changes between 12 and 14 April 2017. Even though there are still some challenges and limitations for monitoring the ocean environment with VIIRS DNB observations, this study shows that satellite DNB observations can provide additional data sources for ocean observations, especially observations during the nighttime. View Full-Text
Keywords: VIIRS; DNB observation; ocean dynamics; satellite remote sensing; ocean color; nocturnal study VIIRS; DNB observation; ocean dynamics; satellite remote sensing; ocean color; nocturnal study

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Shi, W.; Wang, M. Ocean Dynamics Observed by VIIRS Day/Night Band Satellite Observations. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 76.

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