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Filling the Gaps of Missing Data in the Merged VIIRS SNPP/NOAA-20 Ocean Color Product Using the DINEOF Method

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.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(2), 178;
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
PDF [4929 KB, uploaded 18 January 2019]


The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-20 has been providing a large amount of global ocean color data, which are critical for monitoring and understanding of ocean optical, biological, and ecological processes and phenomena. However, VIIRS-derived daily ocean color images on either SNPP or NOAA-20 have some limitations in ocean coverage due to its swath width, high sensor-zenith angle, high sun glint, and cloud, etc. Merging VIIRS ocean color products derived from the SNPP and NOAA-20 significantly increases the spatial coverage of daily images. The two VIIRS sensors on the SNPP and NOAA-20 have similar sensor characteristics, and global ocean color products are generated using the same Multi-Sensor Level-1 to Level-2 (MSL12) ocean color data processing system. Therefore, the merged VIIRS ocean color data from the two sensors have high data quality with consistent statistical property and accuracy globally. Merging VIIRS SNPP and NOAA-20 ocean color data almost removes the gaps of missing pixels due to high sensor-zenith angles and high sun glint contamination, and also significantly reduces the gaps due to cloud cover. However, there are still gaps of missing pixels in the merged ocean color data. In this study, the Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions (DINEOF) are applied on the merged VIIRS SNPP/NOAA-20 global Level-3 ocean color data to completely reconstruct the missing pixels. Specifically, DINEOF is applied to 30 days of daily merged global Level-3 chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) data of 9-km spatial resolution from 19 June to 18 July 2018. To quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of the DINEOF reconstructed data, a set of valid pixels are intentionally treated as “missing pixels”, so that reconstructed data can be compared with the original data. Results show that mean ratios of the reconstructed/original are 1.012, 1.012, 1.015, and 0.997 for global ocean, oligotrophic waters, deep waters, and coastal and inland waters, respectively. The corresponding standard deviation (SD) of the ratios are 0.200, 0.164, 0.182, and 0.287, respectively. Gap-filled daily Chl-a images reveal many large-scale and meso-scale ocean features that are invisible in the original SNPP or NOAA-20 Chl-a images. It is also demonstrated that the gap-filled data based on the merged products show more details in the dynamic ocean features than those based on SNPP or NOAA-20 alone. View Full-Text
Keywords: VIIRS; SNPP; NOAA-20; DINEOF; ocean color data; data merging; gap-filling VIIRS; SNPP; NOAA-20; DINEOF; ocean color data; data merging; gap-filling

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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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Liu, X.; Wang, M. Filling the Gaps of Missing Data in the Merged VIIRS SNPP/NOAA-20 Ocean Color Product Using the DINEOF Method. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 178.

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