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Asian Dust Detection from the Satellite Observations of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)

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Volume: 12 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 1073-1080
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2011.11.0206
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Xuepeng Zhao

  • National Climatic Data Center, NOAA/NESDIS, 151 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28801, USA


Asian dusts exert significant influences on regional air quality, weather, and climate. Detection of these highly variable aerosol events is challenging due to several factors, such as short lifetime, multiple scales, and strong interactions with local and regional surface and meteorological conditions. Since dust particles can directly alter solar and earth radiation in both visible (VS) and infrared (IR) spectral regions through scattering and absorption processes, both VS and IR remote sensing techniques can be used to detect dust plumes in the atmosphere. A dust detection system for multi-channel satellite imagers was applied in this study. The detection is based on the analysis of reflectance (or radiance) in VS channels or brightness temperature (BT) in IR channels. The magnitude of the difference in reflectance and/or BTs in selected channels due to dust is used to infer the signature of the dust particles. Descriptions of the detection system and its application for Asian dust using the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite measurements are provided. The performance of the algorithm for Asian dust detection and its usefulness for monitoring the outbreaks and dispersion of Asian dust events were emphasized in the current study.


Aerosol Asian dust Satellite

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