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Validation and Comparison of MODIS C6.1 and C6 Aerosol Products over Beijing, China

1,2, 1,2,*, 1 and 1,3
College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Jointly Sponsored by Beijing Normal University and Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100875, China
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 2021;
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Derived Global Atmosphere Product Validation/Evaluation)
PDF [6794 KB, uploaded 12 December 2018]


The operational Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aerosol Products (APs) have provided long-term and wide-spatial-coverage aerosol optical properties across the globe, such as aerosol optical depth (AOD). However, the performance of the latest Collection 6.1 (C6.1) of MODIS APs is still unclear over urban areas that feature complex surface characteristics and aerosol models. The aim of this study was to validate and compare the performance of the MODIS C6.1 and C6 APs (MxD04, x = O for Terra, x = Y for Aqua) over Beijing, China. The results of the Dark Target (DT) and Deep Blue (DB) algorithms were validated against Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) ground-based observations at local sites. The retrieval uncertainties and accuracies were evaluated using the expected error (EE: ±0.05 + 15%) and the root-mean-square error (RMSE). It was found that the MODIS C6.1 DT products performed better than the C6 DT products, with a greater percentage (by about 13%–14%) of the retrievals falling within the EE. However, the DT retrievals collected from two collections were significantly overestimated in the Beijing region, with more than 64% and 48% of the samples falling above the EE for the Terra and Aqua satellites, respectively. The MODIS C6.1 DB products performed similarly to the C6 DB products, with 70%–73% of the retrievals matching within the EE and estimation uncertainties. Moreover, the DB algorithm performed much better than DT algorithm over urban areas, especially in winter where abundant missing pixels were found in DT products. To investigate the effects of factors on AOD retrievals, the variability in the assumed surface reflectance and the main optical properties applied in DT and DB algorithms are also analyzed. View Full-Text
Keywords: MODIS; Collection 6.1; aerosol optical depth; AERONET; Beijing MODIS; Collection 6.1; aerosol optical depth; AERONET; Beijing

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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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Tian, X.; Liu, Q.; Li, X.; Wei, J. Validation and Comparison of MODIS C6.1 and C6 Aerosol Products over Beijing, China. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 2021.

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