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Detecting layer height of smoke aerosols over vegetated land and water surfaces...

Xu, R., J. Wang, Y. Wang, J. Zeng, O. Torres, J. Reid, S. D. Miller, J. V. Martins, and L. Remer (2019), Detecting layer height of smoke aerosols over vegetated land and water surfaces via oxygen absorption bands: hourly results from EPIC/DSCOVR in deep space, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 12, 3269-3288, doi:10.5194/amt-12-3269-2019.

We present an algorithm for retrieving aerosol layer height (ALH) and aerosol optical depth (AOD) for smoke over vegetated land and water surfaces from measurements of the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) onboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). The algorithm uses Earth-reflected radiances in six EPIC bands in the visible and near-infrared and incorporates flexible spectral fitting that accounts for the specifics of land and water surface reflectivity. The fitting procedure first determines AOD using EPIC atmospheric window bands (443, 551, 680, and 780 nm), then uses oxygen (O2 ) A and B bands (688 and 764 nm) to derive ALH, which represents an optical centroid altitude. ALH retrieval over vegetated surface primarily takes advantage of measurements in the O2 B band. We applied the algorithm to EPIC observations of several biomass burning events over the United States and Canada in August 2017. We found that the algorithm can be used to obtain AOD and ALH multiple times daily over water and vegetated land surface. Validation is performed against aerosol extinction profiles detected by the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) and against AOD observed at nine Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) sites, showing, on average, an error of 0.58 km and a bias of −0.13 km in retrieved ALH and an error of 0.05 and a bias of 0.03 in retrieved AOD. Additionally, we show that the aerosol height information retrieved by the present algorithm can potentially benefit the retrieval of aerosol properties from EPIC’s ultraviolet (UV) bands.

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)