AERONET Ocean Color

The NASA OBPG routinely downloads V3 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 validation results

SeaBASS validation results contain metadata indicating which AERONET-OC site the in situ data portion originated from. As of May 2024, AERONET-OC processing Version 4 (v4) was used in the latest version of validation results.

V4 data

Information about the AERONET-OC source used within SeaBASS can be derived from the "cruise" or cruise_name metadata label that SeaBASS picked and applied to results returned in the Validation Search results (cruise is synonymous with deployment). AERONET-OC site names were incorporated into the cruise name using the form:


for example, "aoc_v4l20_AAOT"

  • [v#] indicates the AERONET-OC processing Version (e.g., v4 or v3)
  • l## indicates the processing quality level of the AERONET-OC data (e.g., "l20" means the validation results were derived from level 2.0 AERONET-OC data, or "l15" means level 1.5). Currently, SeaBASS uses level 2.0 data for default ocean color validation while level 1.5 data are separately used for near real time validation.
  • [site-name] is the AERONET-OC site name (see table below).

Please visit the following individual AERONET-OC web pages and view the contact information for the Principal Investigator(s) at each site.

AAOT(45.3N, 12.5E)
[Venice, Italy]
Abu_Al_Bukhoosh(25.5N, 53.1E)
[Abu Al Bukhoosh]
ARIAKE_TOWER(33.1N, 130.3E)
[Ariake, Japan]
Bahia_Blanca(39.1S, 61.7W)
[Bahia Blanca, Argentina]
Banana_River(28.4N, 80.6W)
[Coco Beach, FL]
Blyth_NOAH(55.1N, 1.4W)
[Blyth, Englad]
Casablanca_Platform(40.7N, 1.4E) Chesapeake_Bay(39.1N, 76.3W)
[Annapolis, MD]
[Cove, Virginia]
Galata_Platform(43.0N, 28.2E)
Gloria(44.6N, 29.4E)
[Constanta, Romania]
GOT_Seaprism(9.3N, 101.4E)
Grizzly_Bay(38.1N, 122.1W)
[Grizzly Bay, CA]
Gustav_Dalen_Tower(58.6N, 17.5E)
[Gustav Dalen Lighthouse]
Helsinki_Lighthouse(59.9N, 24.9E)
[Helsinki Lighthouse, Finland]
Ieodo_Station(32.1N, 125.2E)
[Ieodo, Korea]
Irbe_Lighthouse(57.8N, 21.7E)
[Irbe Lighthouse, Baltic Sea]
Kemigawa_Offshore(35.6N, 140.0E)
[Kemigawa offshore, Japan]
Lake_Erie(41.8N, 83.2W)
[Monroe, MI]
Lake_Okeechobee(26.9N, 80.8W)
[Fort Pierce, FL]
Lake_Okeechobee_N(27.1N, 80.8W)
[Lake Okeechobee, FL]
LISCO(41.0N, 73.3W)
[LISCO, New York]
Lucinda(18.5S, 146.4E)
[Lucinda, Australia]
MVCO(41.3N, 70.6W)
[Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO), Massachusetts]
Palgrunden(58.8N, 13.2E)
[Granvik, Sweden]
PLOCAN_Tower(28.0N, 15.4W)
[Canary Islands, Spain]
RdP-EsNM(34.8S, 57.9W)
[Beunos Aires, Argentina]
Sacramento_River(38.0N, 121.9W)
[Sacramento, CA]
San_Marco_Platform(2.9S, 40.2E) Section-7_Platform(44.5N, 29.4E)
[Constanta, Romania]
Socheongcho(37.4N, 124.7E)
[Socheongcho, Republic of Korea]
South_Greenbay(44.6N, 88.0W)
[Green Bay, WI]
Thornton_C-power(51.5N, 3.0E)
[Brussels, Belgium]
USC_SEAPRISM(33.6N, 118.1W)
[Newport Beach, CA]
Venise(45.3N, 12.5E)
[Venice, Italy]
WaveCIS_Site_CSI_6(28.9N, 90.5W)
[Gulf of Mexico]
Zeebrugge-MOW1(51.4N, 3.1E)
[Brussels, Belgium]

V3 data

SeaBASS labels data in the Validation Search results with a cruise or cruise_name (a metadata field synonymous with deployment name). AERONET-OC site names were incorporated into the cruise name using the form:


for example, "aoc_Venise_l20"

  • [site-name] is the AERONET-OC site name (see table below).
  • l## indicates the quality level of the AERONET-OC data (e.g., "l20" means the validation results were derived from level 2.0 AERONET-OC data). SeaBASS validation results are currently limited to level 2.0 data, however, if other levels of data are used they will be indicated in the cruise name (e.g., l10 and l15 correspond to level 1.0 and 1.5, respectively).

Please visit the following individual AERONET-OC pages and the contact information for the Principal Investigator(s) at each site.


AERONET-OC Site Principal Investigator(s)
AAOT ( 45.314N, 12.508E) Barbara_Bulgarelli
Abu_Al_Bukhoosh ( 25.495N, 53.146E) Giuseppe_Zibordi
ARIAKE_TOWER ( 33.104N,130.272E) Kohei_Arai, Kohei_Arai
Blyth_NOAH ( 55.146N, 1.421W) Rodney_Forster
Casablanca_Platform ( 40.717N, 1.358E) Marco_Talone, Frederic_Melin
COVE_SEAPRISM ( 36.900N, 75.710W) Pawan_Gupta, Elena_Lind
Gageocho_Station ( 33.942N,124.593E) Jae-Seol_Shim, Joo-Hyung_Ryu
Galata_Platform ( 43.045N, 28.193E) Frederic_Melin
Gloria ( 44.600N, 29.360E) Giuseppe_Zibordi
GOT_Seaprism ( 9.286N,101.412E) Pawan_Gupta, Elena_Lind
Grizzly_Bay ( 38.108N,122.056W) Nima_Pahlevan
Gustav_Dalen_Tower ( 58.594N, 17.467E) Frederic_Melin
Helsinki_Lighthouse ( 59.949N, 24.926E) Giuseppe_Zibordi
Ieodo_Station ( 32.123N,125.182E) Young-Je_Park, Hak-Yeol_You
Irbe_Lighthouse ( 57.751N, 21.723E) Barbara_Bulgarelli
Kemigawa_Offshore ( 35.611N,140.023E) Hiroto_Higa
Lake_Erie ( 41.826N, 83.194W) Tim_Moore, Steve_Ruberg, Menghua_Wang
Lake_Okeechobee ( 26.902N, 80.789W) Nima_Pahlevan
Lake_Okeechobee_N ( 27.139N, 80.789W) Nima_Pahlevan
LISCO ( 40.955N, 73.342W) Sam_Ahmed, Alex_Gilerson
Lucinda (18.520S,146.386E) Thomas_Schroeder
MVCO ( 41.325N, 70.567W) Hui_Feng, Heidi_M._Sosik
Palgrunden ( 58.755N, 13.152E) Susanne_Kratzer
San_Marco_Platform ( 2.942S, 40.215E) Barbara_Bulgarelli
Section-7_Platform ( 44.546N, 29.447E) Barbara_Bulgarelli
Socheongcho ( 37.423N,124.738E) Young-Je_Park
South_Greenbay ( 44.596N, 87.951W) Nima_Pahlevan
Thornton_C-power ( 51.532N, 2.955E) Dimitry_Van_der_Zande
USC_SEAPRISM ( 33.564N,118.118W) Burton_Jones, Matthew_Ragan
USC_SEAPRISM_2 ( 33.564N,118.118W) Burton_Jones, Matthew_Ragan
Venise ( 45.314N, 12.508E) Barbara_Bulgarelli
WaveCIS_Site_CSI_6 ( 28.867N, 90.483W) Sherwin_Ladner
Zeebrugge-MOW1 ( 51.362N, 3.120E) Dimitry_Van_der_Zande


V2 data (deprecated)

The following description applies to how AERONET-OC V2 sites were organized in SeaBASS. This description no longer applies to V3 data but is retained here as a reference.


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

AERONET-OC quality level

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 typically 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 (alternately, l10 = level 1.0 and l15 = level 1.5).
SeaBASS uses AERONET-OC processing Version 4 (V4) data.

Most recent update (2024-04-10)

AERONET-OC Version 4, Level 2.0 data used for validation were most recently downloaded from the AERONET-OC website on 2024-04-10.

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, a BRDF correction calculated by the OBPG is applied (for consistency with the satellite approach), 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 2024-05-20
Created by Chris Proctor on 2013-02-19