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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11020122

Evaluation of Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2A Aerosol Optical Depth Retrievals across Chinese Cities and Implications for Medium Spatial Resolution Urban Aerosol Monitoring

1
Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
2
Department of Geography, Environment, & Spatial Sciences and Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
3
Terrestrial Information System Laboratory (Code 619), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

In urban environments, aerosol distributions may change rapidly due to building and transport infrastructure and human population density variations. The recent availability of medium resolution Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite data provide the opportunity for aerosol optical depth (AOD) estimation at higher spatial resolution than provided by other satellites. AOD retrieved from 30 m Landsat-8 and 10 m Sentinel-2A data using the Land Surface Reflectance Code (LaSRC) were compared with coincident ground-based Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) Version 3 AOD data for 20 Chinese cities in 2016. Stringent selection criteria were used to select contemporaneous data; only satellite and AERONET data acquired within 10 min were considered. The average satellite retrieved AOD over a 1470 m × 1470 m window centered on each AERONET site was derived to capture fine scale urban AOD variations. AERONET Level 1.5 (cloud-screened) and Level 2.0 (cloud-screened and also quality assured) data were considered. For the 20 urban AERONET sites in 2016 there were 106 (Level 1.5) and 67 (Level 2.0) Landsat-8 AERONET AOD contemporaneous data pairs, and 118 (Level 1.5) and 89 (Level 2.0) Sentinel-2A AOD data pairs. The greatest AOD values (>1.5) occurred in Beijing, suggesting that the Chinese capital was one of the most polluted cities in China in 2016. The LaSRC Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2A AOD retrievals agreed well with the AERONET AOD data (linear regression slopes > 0.96; coefficient of determination r2 > 0.90; root mean square deviation < 0.175) and demonstrate that the LaSRC is an effective and applicable medium resolution AOD retrieval algorithm over urban environments. The Sentinel-2A AOD retrievals had better accuracy than the Landsat-8 AOD retrievals, which is consistent with previously published research. The implications of the research and the potential for urban aerosol monitoring by combining the freely available Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite data are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Landsat-8; Sentinel-2; aerosol optical depth (AOD); urban Landsat-8; Sentinel-2; aerosol optical depth (AOD); urban
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Li, Z.; Roy, D.P.; Zhang, H.K.; Vermote, E.F.; Huang, H. Evaluation of Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2A Aerosol Optical Depth Retrievals across Chinese Cities and Implications for Medium Spatial Resolution Urban Aerosol Monitoring. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 122.

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