Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 425–438, 2016
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 425–438, 2016

Review article 23 Sep 2016

Review article | 23 Sep 2016

A database of global reference sites to support validation of satellite surface albedo datasets (SAVS 1.0)

Alexander Loew1,2, Ralf Bennartz3, Frank Fell4, Alessio Lattanzio5, Marie Doutriaux-Boucher5, and Jörg Schulz5 Alexander Loew et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany
  • 2Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Earth and Environmental Science Department, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
  • 4Informus GmbH, Berlin, Germany
  • 5European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), Darmstadt, Germany

Abstract. Validating the accuracy and long-term stability of terrestrial satellite data products necessitates a network of reference sites. This paper documents a global database of more than 2000 sites globally which have been characterized in terms of their spatial heterogeneity. The work was motivated by the need for potential validation sites for geostationary surface albedo data products, but the resulting database is useful also for other applications. The database (SAVS 1.0) is publicly available through the EUMETSAT website (, doi:10.15770/EUM_SEC_CLM_1001). Sites can be filtered according to different criteria, providing a flexible way to identify potential validation sites for further studies and a traceable approach to characterize the heterogeneity of these reference sites. The present paper describes the detailed information on the generation of the SAVS 1.0 database and its characteristics.

Short summary
The paper introduces a novel database of global potential surface albedo validation sites which are very well characterized in terms of their spatial heterogeneity. The database might be usefull for the validation and longterm monitoring of satellite data products and validation of satellite derived geophysical datasets.