A compilation of global bio-optical in situ data for ocean-colour satellite applications – version two Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract. A global compilation of in situ data is useful to evaluate the quality of ocean-colour satellite data records. Here we describe the data compiled for the validation of the ocean-colour products from the ESA Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative (OC-CCI). The data were acquired from several sources (including, inter alia, MOBY, BOUSSOLE, AERONET-OC, SeaBASS, NOMAD, MERMAID, AMT, ICES, HOT and GeP&CO) and span the period from 1997 to 2018. Observations of the following variables were compiled: spectral remote-sensing reflectances, concentrations of chlorophyll a, spectral inherent optical properties, spectral diffuse attenuation coefficients and total suspended matter. The data were 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. No changes were made to the original data, other than averaging of observations that were close in time and space, elimination of some points after quality control and conversion to a standard format. The final result is a merged table designed for validation of satellite-derived ocean-colour products and available in text format. Metadata of each in situ measurement (original source, cruise or experiment, principal investigator) was propagated throughout the work and made available 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. This paper also describes the changes that were made to the compilation in relation to the previous version (Valente et al., 2016). The compiled data are available at https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.898188 (Valente et al., 2019).


publication date

  • July 15, 2019