AERONET Ocean Color

The NASA OBPG routinely downloads data from the AERONET-Ocean Color website for use in satellite sensor validation match-up analysis. As described by Zibordi et al. (2009), the AERONET-OC network consists of globally distributed autonomous radiometer systems maintained at fixed offshore sites. Please refer to the rest of the information in this article for details on how to acknowledge the use of AERONET-OC data and how the OBPG processes these data.

Table of Contents

AERONET-OC Data Usage Policy

AERONET-OC data have a usage policy stated on the web sites for the individual AERONET-OC stations (linked below). Please consult the following links, however at the time this Wiki article was written, the summary of the AERONET-OC policy is:


Due to the research and development phase characterizing AERONET Ocean Color, use of these data requires offering co-authorship to the Principal Investigator. If you intend to use the following data please consult with the Principal Investigator(s) of the particular AERONET-OC site.


How to determine AERONET-OC sites from SeaBASS data files

A column called "cruise_name" is present in the data files you can download after performing a Validation Search. These names have been specially created by SeaBASS staff to include certain identifying information. These names all use the following structure:




Cruise names contain descriptions that correspond to the following site names which are linked to the individual AERONET-OC sites with the contact information for the PI(s) at each site.

Cruise name in SeaBASS AERONET-OC site Principal Investigator(s)
bukhoosh Abu_Al_Bukhoosh (25N,53E) Giuseppe Zibordi
cove COVE_SEAPRISM (36N,75W) Brent Holben
gageocho Gageocho_Station (33N,124E) Jae-Seol Shim, Joo-Hyung Ryu
galata Galata_Platform (43N,28E) Giuseppe Zibordi
gloria Gloria (44N,29E) Giuseppe Zibordi
got GOT_Seaprism (9N,101E) Brent Holben
gustav Gustav_Dalen_Tower (58N,17E) Giuseppe Zibordi
helsinki Helsinki_Lighthouse (59N,24E) Giuseppe Zibordi
leodo Ieodo_Station (32N,125E) Young-Je Park,Hak-Yeol You
kaust KAUST_Campus (22N,39E) Georgiy L. Stenchikov
lake_erie Lake_Erie (41N,83W) Tim Moore, Steve Ruberg, Menghua Wang
lisco LISCO (40N,73W) Sam Ahmed, Alex Gilerson
lucinda Lucinda (18S,146E) Thomas Schroeder
mvco MVCO (41N,70W) Hui Feng, Heidi M. Sosik
palgrunden Palgrunden (58N,13E) Susanne Kratzer
socheongch Socheongcho (37N,125E) Young-Je_Park
thornton_c Thornton_C-power (51N,2E) Dimitry Van der Zande
usc USC_SEAPRISM (33N,118W) Burton Jones, Curtiss Davis


USC_SEAPRISM_2 (33N,118W) Brent Holben


Venise (45N,12E) Giuseppe Zibordi
usc WaveCIS_Site_CSI_6 (28N,90W) Alan Weidemann, Bill Gibson, Robert Arnone
zeebrugge Zeebrugge-MOW1 (51N,3E) Kevin Ruddick, Dimitry Van der Zande

How to determine AERONET-OC versions from SeaBASS data files

There are three different data quality levels available from the AERONET-OC website (level 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 where 2.0 is the highest quality). The OBPG currently only produces validation match-ups using level 2.0 data (i.e. pre and post field calibrated, automatically cloud cleared and manually inspected). This level is also indicated in the "cruise_name" column in the validation data files downloaded through SeaBASS, where "l20" indicates level 2.0 data (l10 = level 1.0 and l15 = level 1.5).

Most recent update (2019-04-02)

AERONET-OC Version 2, Level 2 data used for validation were most recently downloaded from the AERONET-OC website on 2019-04-02.

OBPG Data Processing Description

The OBPG uses normalized water leaving radiances (Lwn) downloaded from the AERONET-OC website. Remote Sensing Reflectance (Rrs) is calculated by dividing Lwn by the solar constant and then validation is performed on those values as described by Bailey and Werdell (2006).



Bailey, S.W. and Werdell, P.J. (2006). A multi-sensor approach for the on-orbit validation of ocean color satellite data products. Rem. Sens. Environ. 102, 12-23.


Frouin, R., Lingner, D. W., Gautier, C., Baker, K. S., and Smith, R. C. (1989). A Simple Analytical Formula to Computer Clear Sky Total and Photosynthetically Available Solar Irradiance at the Ocean Surface. J. of Geophysical Res., Vol. 94, No. C7, 9731-9742.

Zibordi, G., Holben, B., Slutsker, I., Giles, G., D’Alimonte, D., Melin, F., Berthon, J. F., Vandemark, D., Feng, H., Schuster, G., Fabbri, B. E., Kaitala, S., and Seppala, J. (2009). AERONET-OC: A Network for the Validation of Ocean Color Primary Products. J. Atmos. and Oceanic Technology. 26, 1634-1651. (DOI:10.1175/2009JTECHO654.1).
Last edited by Chris Proctor on 2019-04-10
Created by Chris Proctor on 2013-02-19