Comparison of total water vapor column from GOME-2 on MetOp-A against ground-based GPS measurements at the Iberian Peninsula

Sci Total Environ. 2015 Nov 15:533:317-28. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.124. Epub 2015 Jul 11.


Water vapor column (WVC) obtained by GOME-2 instrument (GDP-4.6 version) onboard MetOp-A satellite platform is compared against reference WVC values derived from GPS (Global Positioning System) instruments from 2007 to 2012 at 21 places located at Iberian Peninsula. The accuracy and precision of GOME-2 to estimate the WVC is studied for different Iberian Peninsula zones using the mean (MBE) and the standard deviation (SD) of the GOME-2 and GPS differences. A direct comparison of all available data shows an overestimation of GOME-2 compared to GPS with a MBE of 0.7 mm (10%) and a precision quantified by a SD equals to 4.4mm (31%). South-Western zone presents the highest overestimation with a MBE of 1.9 mm (17%), while Continental zone shows the lowest SD absolute value (3.3mm) due mainly to the low WVC values reached at this zone. The influence of solar zenith angle (SZA), cloud fraction (CF), and the type of surface and its albedo on the differences between GOME-2 and GPS is analyzed in detail. MBE and SD increase when SZA increases, but MBE decreases (taking negative values) when CF increases and SD shows no significant dependence on CF. Under cloud-free conditions, the differences between WVC from GOME-2 and GPS are within the WVC error given by GOME-2. The changes of MBE and SD on Surface Albedo are not so evident, but MBE slightly decreases when the Surface Albedo increases. WVC from GOME-2 is, in general, more precise for land than for sea pixels.

Keywords: GOME-2; GPS; Iberian Peninsula; MetOp-A; Satellite remote sensing; Water vapor column.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't