01 Nov 2023
 | 01 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

A directional surface reflectance climatology determined from TROPOMI observations

Lieuwe G. Tilstra, Martin de Graaf, Victor Trees, Pavel Litvinov, Oleg Dubovik, and Piet Stammes

Abstract. In this paper we introduce a spectral surface reflectivity climatology based on observations made by the TROPOMI instrument on board the Sentinel-5P satellite. The database contains the directionally dependent Lambertian-equivalent reflectivity (DLER) of the Earth’s surface for 21 wavelength bands ranging from 328 nm to 2314 nm and for each calendar month. The spatial resolution of the database grid is 0.125° × 0.125° . A recently developed cloud shadow detection technique is implemented to avoid dark scenes due to cloud shadow. In the database, the anisotropy of the surface reflection is described using a third-order parameterisation of the viewing angle dependence. The viewing angle dependence of the DLER is analysed globally and for a selection of surface type regions. The dependence is found to agree with the viewing angle dependence found in the GOME-2 surface DLER database. Differences exist, related to the actual solar position. On average, the viewing angle dependence in TROPOMI DLER is weaker than for GOME-2 DLER, but still important.

Validation of the new database was first performed by comparison of the non-directional TROPOMI surface LER with heritage LER databases based on GOME-1, OMI, SCIAMACHY, and GOME-2 data. Agreement was found within 0.002–0.02 in the UV-VIS (below 500 nm), up to 0.003 in the NIR (670–772 nm), and below 0.001 in the SWIR (2314 nm). These performance numbers are dominated by the performance over ocean, but they are in most cases also representative for land surfaces. For the validation of the directional TROPOMI surface DLER we made use of comparison with MODIS surface BRDF for a selection of surface type regions. In all cases the DLER performed significantly better than the traditional LER and we found good agreement with MODIS surface BRDF.

The TROPOMI surface DLER database is a clear improvement on previous surface albedo databases and can be used as input not only for satellite retrievals from TROPOMI observations, but also for retrievals from observations from other polar-orbiting satellite instruments provided that their equator crossing time is close to that of TROPOMI. The algorithm that is introduced in this paper can be used for the retrieval of surface reflectivity climatologies from other polar satellite missions as well, including OLCI on the Sentinel-3 satellites, Sentinel-5 and 3MI on the MetOp-SG-A1 satellite to be launched in 2025, and the future CO2M mission.

Lieuwe G. Tilstra et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2023-222', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Nov 2023 reply

Lieuwe G. Tilstra et al.

Lieuwe G. Tilstra et al.


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Short summary
This paper introduced a new surface albedo climatology of directionally dependent Lambertian-equivalent reflectivity (DLER) observed by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite. The database contains monthly fields of DLER for 21 wavelength bands at a relatively high spatial resolution of 0.125 by 0.125 degrees. The anisotropy of the surface reflection is handled by parameterisation of the viewing angle dependence.