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Ocean Colour CCI

The Ocean Colour CCI (OC_CCI) project focuses on the Ocean Colour ECV encompassing water-leaving radiance in the visible domain, derived chlorophyll and inherent optical properties and will utilise data archives of from ESA’s MERIS and NASA’s SeaWiFS, MODIS and possibly CZCS (after careful evaluation) sensors archives. It is also looking at the feasibility of using OCM-2 and VIIRS data as a "gap filler" before the launch of Sentinel-3.

Downloading and using the Ocean Colour CCI dataset

There are several options, including FTP and a Composite Browser, which are available via and explained further within the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of this website at

If you need information about the products, then the best document to start with is the Product User Guide (PUG)

In addition, support is available from

We suggest that when referencing the Ocean Colour CCI dataset within peer-reviewed papers or any other publications the following citation is given in the acknowledgements, alongside any description within the methodology:

Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative dataset, Version version number, European Space Agency, available online at

We would also like to be notified so that we can list publications within the project website at

News flash

OC-CCI v3.0; what's coming?
* more data: introduction of VIIRS and SeaWiFS LAC into the merged time series, updated NASA datasets to r2014; extension to 2014/15, depending on quality ; improved supersampling to remove "speckle"
* bias correction improvements, reducing sensitivity to medium-term changes and extending the method to work beyond the lifetime of SeaWiFS
* updated atmospheric correction and in-water algorithms based on the results of a new round robin.
- MODIS is now processed with POLYMER (as MERIS in v2.0 and earlier), while VIIRS and SeaWiFS remain SeaDAS based.
- POLYMER has been updated to give an improved coverage and quality in case-2 waters.
- OC4 was reselected, but now in combination with OC5.
* blended chlorophyll algorithms to give a better solution in case-2 / optically-complex (coastal) waters

There's been a delay to the release of v3 because internal quality control revealed high stray values / speckle in the MODIS POLYMER processing linked to cloud masking. After discussions at our Progress Meeting, the revised timescale for the public release is the end of June 2016.

To receive email notification of the v3.0 release, contact to be added to our mailing list.

Ocean Challenge Article


An article on ESA’s Ocean Colour CCI project can be downloaded from

The article focuses on the outcomes of Phase 2 Years 1 and 2, which includes the release of version 2.0 of the merged time-series product. This data release has targeted multiple improvements across the processing chain, particularly with regard to consistency of how the input ocean colour datasets are processed. A review of the benefits, changes and overall performance can be found in the Product User Guide (PUG)

If you need any support in the meantime then please feel free to email

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