Variability and validation of sea surface temperatures (SST) in north Papua waters were conducted using SST estimated by Pathfinder algorithm of NOAA AVHRR satellite and SST measurements from TAO buoy in 2001-2009. Satellite data (SST Pathfinder) were daily, weekly, and monthly composite with 4x4 km2 resolution and downloaded from http://poet.jpl.nasa.gov. In situ data (SST measurement from buoy TAO) were measured at a depth of 1.5 m and recorded every hour (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao_deliv). The in situ data then converted into daily, weekly, and monthly average data. In general, the SST values of both satellite and in situ SST in the north Papua waters ranged between 27.10 - 31.90 °C. During the east season (June-September), SST values (27.90-31.90 °C) were generally higher than the SST values ( 27.10-30.13 °C) during the west season (December-February). In general, the SST values both day-time and night-time from in situ and the satellite measurements showed no significant differences except in waters close to the shore. The results also showed that the coefficient of determination values (R2) between the satellite and the in situ SST measurements were relatively low (65%) and up to 5% of RMSE. The relatively low correlation between in situ dan satellite SST measurements may be due to high cloud coverage (90-96%) in the north Papua waters so that SST satellite data become less representative of the in situ data. These results also indicated that the Pathfinder algorithm can not be used as a valid estimate of SST NOAA AVHRR satellite for the north Papua waters.
Keywords: SST Pathfinder, NOAA AVHRR, Validation, TAO buoy, North Papua Waters
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