I am processing sentinel 2 data and while most bands look fine I have noticed an odd seam in band 1 of several images as can be seen from the attached image.

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The image is cut from the ESA scene S2A_MSIL2A_20190921T101031_N0213_R022_T33VWD_20190921T130515 and displayed using only the value range 0-300 of band 1.

What type of artefact is this seam? Is it an error with my processing or a property of the instrument or what is it?


The seam is not visible only on your L2A image, but also on L1C images, such as this one (created with EO Browser): Sentinel-2A L1C Image taken on 2019-09-21

This suggests that the banding is caused by aerosol scattering, which affects odd detectors differently than even ones because they look at the ground at slightly different angles (Sentinel-2 has 12 detectors in a staggered configuration, see e.g. Figure 4 of the MSI Overview ).

Ideally this effect of the aerosol would be removed by the atmospheric correction processor, but in this case a lot of it remains in the L2A surface reflectance image. I checked the latest L2A Data Quality Report and this issue does not seem to be mentioned specifically.

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