An early look at data from the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument on Sentinel-3.
27 January 2022
18 March 2016
By Mark Higgins and Roberto Episcopo (EUMETSAT)
The instruments on the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite are undergoing validation. This case takes an early look at data from the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI), showing the application for operational meteorology.
Figure 1 illustrates the difference between the Meteosat-10 Natural Colour view and the OLCI True Colour view of the same area of Europe on March 18 at 09:50 UTC.
The two different resolutions are clear to see. The advantage of Meteosat is the geographical and time coverage. Meteosat data are available every 15 minutes, and 5 minutes for the rapid scanning service for a larger area than Sentinel-3. Sentinel-3 coverage is twice per day, up to a 300 m resolution.
Figures 2 and 3 show a broader view of the same area — the Sentinel-3 orbit goes from North to South. Note: The OLCI data shown here are a sample data at a reduced resolution.
There is a region of high pressure over France and Germany, extending south into Italy which leads to clear skies. There is a region of low cloud over the channel extending to northern Poland.
In the Natural Colour image from Meteosat-10, snow and ice can be seen in the cyan colours. This is due to ice/water sensitivity of the 1.6 µm channel used to construct the image. Water clouds appear white.
The differentiation between the snow and ice clouds is not instantly clear on the True Colour image. The thin clouds in Denmark are much easier to see in the Sentinel-3/OLCI image due to the much higher resolution.
Other Sentinel-3 cases
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Phytoplankton bloom in the Black Sea
Intense and colourful bloom of various phytoplankton species across the Black Sea in July 2022.
Hydrogen sulphide plumes off the Namibian coast
Plumes of hydrogen sulphide could be seen off the coast of Namibia in December 2021.
Deoxygenation impacts marine life in the Benguela
Ocean colour data monitors the die off of huge phytoplankton bloom in the southern Benguela.
Winds drive deep water formation in Gulf of Lion
Effects of Mistral and Tramontana winds on the Gulf of Lion circulation.