A compilation of global bio-optical in situ data for ocean colour satellite applications – version three


A global in situ data set for validation of ocean colour products from the ESA Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative (OC-CCI) is presented. This version of the compilation, starting in 1997, now extends to 2021, which is important for the validation of the most recent satellite optical sensors such as Sentinel 3B OLCI and NOAA-20 VIIRS. The data set comprises in situ observations of the following variables: spectral remote-sensing reflectance, concentration of chlorophyll-a, spectral inherent optical properties, spectral diffuse attenuation coefficient, and total suspended matter. Data were obtained from multi-project archives acquired via open internet services or from individual projects acquired directly from data providers. Methodologies were implemented for homogenization, quality control, and merging of all data. Minimal changes were made on the original data, other than conversion to a standard format, elimination of some points, after quality control and averaging of observations that were close in time and space. The result is a merged table available in text format. Overall, the size of the data set grew with 148 432 rows, with each row representing a unique station in space and time (cf. 136 250 rows in previous version; Valente et al., 2019). Observations of remote-sensing reflectance increased to 68 641 (cf. 59 781 in previous version; Valente et al., 2019). There was also a near tenfold increase in chlorophyll data since 2016. Metadata of each in situ measurement (original source, cruise or experiment, principal investigator) are included in the final table. By making the metadata available, provenance is better documented and it is also possible to analyse each set of data separately. The compiled data are available at (Valente et al., 2022).
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