EU Science Hub

Adjacency radiance around a small island: implications for system vicarious calibrations


The adjacency radiance field surrounding a small island (i.e., the Lampedusa Island in the Central Mediterranean Sea) was theoretically analysed to address implications on a hypothetical nearby System Vicarious Calibration (SVC) infrastructure for satellite ocean color sensors. Simulations, performed in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) region for the Ocean Land Color Instrument (OLCI) operated onboard Sentinel-3 satellites, show different patterns of adjacency effects (AE) around the island. In the direction of the reflected sunbeam (i.e., in the north-western region), AE mainly originate by missing glint contributions from the sea surface masked by the island. These AE are mainly negative, decrease with wavelength, and strongly depend on sea surface anisotropy (i.e., sea state) and illumination conditions; this hinders the capability to provide a general unique description of their features. In the remaining marine regions, AE are positive and do not exceed the radiometric sensitivity of OLCI data beyond approximately 14 km from the coast. At shorter distances, uncertainties in satellite radiance due to AE would hence not allow fulfilling requirements for SVC.