Yulong He, Lin Sun This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Zhendong Sun, Xueqian Hu

College of Geodesy and Geomatics, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Shandong, Qingdao 266590, China

Received: February 4, 2021
Revised: August 26, 2021
Accepted: August 29, 2021

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.210019  

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Cite this article:

He, Y., Sun, L., Sun, Z., Hu, X. (2021). MODIS Aerosol Optical Thickness Product Algorithm Verification and Analysis. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 210019. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.210019


  • The DTB algorithm can achieve aerosol for different surface types.
  • DTB and HARLS can realise aerosol optical depth inversion over land worldwide.
  • The DTB algorithm exhibits sufficient inversion accuracy in vegetation areas.
  • HARLS algorithm exhibits superior performance to that of DTB in urban areas.


A Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aerosol optical thickness inversion algorithm has been rapidly developed in recent years, forming various representative aerosol optical thickness remote sensing products. Typical inversion algorithms include Dark Target, Dark Target–Deep Blue (DTB), and the high-spatial-resolution aerosol retrieval algorithm based on a priori land surface (HARLS). Both DTB and HARLS can realise aerosol optical depth inversion over land worldwide, but their accuracy and space–time adaptability vary. In this study, 80 Aerosol Robotic Network data worldwide were selected as the evaluation basis to quantitatively analyse and verify the adaptability and accuracy of different aerosol inversion algorithms on various underlying surfaces. The results indicate that the DTB algorithm has a higher inversion accuracy in vegetation area, whereas HARLS algorithm performs better in urban area; the HARLS and DTB algorithm accuracies in desert area type were found to be similar. The results provide a basis for selecting appropriate aerosol optical thickness remote sensing products for different applications.

Keywords: Aerosol optical depth, Prior database algorithm, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, Adaptability analysis

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