Wang, H., Liu, X., Chance, Kelly V., González Abad, Gonzalo, and Miller, C. Chan. 2014. "Water vapor retrieval from OMI visible spectra." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions 7:541-567. https://doi.org/10.5194/amtd-7-541-2014
There are distinct spectral features of water vapor in the wavelength range covered by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) visible channel. Although these features are much weaker than those at longer wavelengths, they can be exploited to retrieve useful information about water vapor. They have an advantage in that their small optical depth leads to fairly simple interpretation as measurements of the total water vapor column density. We have used the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO)'s OMI operational retrieval algorithm to derive the Slant Column Density (SCD) of water vapor from OMI measurements using the 430-480 nm spectral region after extensive optimization of retrieval windows and parameters. The Air Mass Factor (AMF) is calculated using look-up tables of scattering weights and monthly mean water vapor profiles from the GEOS-5 assimilation products. We convert from SCD to Vertical Column Density (VCD) using the AMF and generate associated retrieval averaging kernels and shape factors. Our standard water vapor product has a median SCD of ~ 1.3 × 1023 molecule cm-2 and a median relative uncertainty of ~ 11% in the tropics, about a factor of 2 better than that from a similar OMI algorithm but using narrower retrieval window. The corresponding median VCD is ~ 1.2 × 1023 molecule cm-2. We have also explored the sensitivities to various parameters and compared our results with those from the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Aerosol Robotic NETwork (AERONET).