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Wildfire Smoke Particle Properties and Evolution, From Space-Based Multi-Angle...

Noyes, K. J., R. Kahn, J. A. Limbacher, Z. Li, M. A. Fenn, D. Giles, J. W. Hair, J. Katich, R. Moore, C. Robinson, K. Sanchez, T. Shingler, K. L. Thornhill, L. Wiggins, and E. L. Winstead (2022), Wildfire Smoke Particle Properties and Evolution, From Space-Based Multi-Angle Imaging II: The Williams Flats Fire during the FIREX-AQ Campaign, doi:10.3390/rs12223823.

Although the characteristics of biomass burning events and the ambient ecosystem determine emitted smoke composition, the conditions that modulate the partitioning of black carbon (BC) and brown carbon (BrC) formation are not well understood, nor are the spatial or temporal frequency of factors driving smoke particle evolution, such as hydration, coagulation, and oxidation, all of which impact smoke radiative forcing. In situ data from surface observation sites and aircraft field campaigns offer deep insight into the optical, chemical, and microphysical traits of biomass burning (BB) smoke aerosols, such as single scattering albedo (SSA) and size distribution, but cannot by themselves provide robust statistical characterization of both emitted and evolved particles. Data from the NASA Earth Observing System’s Multi-Angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument can provide at least a partial picture of BB particle properties and their evolution downwind, once properly validated. Here we use in situ data from the joint NOAA/NASA 2019 Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments Experiment-Air Quality (FIREX-AQ) field campaign to assess the strengths and limitations of MISR-derived constraints on particle size, shape, light-absorption, and its spectral slope, as well as plume height and associated wind vectors. Based on the satellite observations, we also offer inferences about aging mechanisms effecting downwind particle evolution, such as gravitational settling, oxidation, secondary particle formation, and the combination of particle aggregation and

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Research Program: 
Applied Sciences Program (ASP)
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Terra- MISR