Hourly Mapping of the Layer Height of Thick Smoke Plumes Over the Western U.S....

Lu, Z., J. Wang, R. Xu, X. Chen, S. Kondragunta, O. Torres, E. Wilcox, and J. Zeng (2021), Hourly Mapping of the Layer Height of Thick Smoke Plumes Over the Western U.S. in 2020 Severe Fire Season, Front. Remote Sens., 2, 766628, doi:10.3389/frsen.2021.766628.

A series of huge smoke plume events from the largest wildfire season recorded in California’s modern history has occurred in 2020. Here, a research algorithm was modified to retrieve the aerosol optical centroid height (AOCH) and aerosol optical depth (AOD) from Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) measurements. The research focus is to gain insights of the algorithm’s feasibility in heavy smoke conditions to study the diurnal variation of AOCH; this is only made possible via EPIC due to its unique position at Lagrange-1 point and its equipment of O2 B-band at which the vegetated surface reflectance is low. Vicarious calibration is applied to the EPIC 443, 680 and 688 nm channels based on the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) observation. This new calibration leads to a better agreement of AOCH values between EPIC retrievals and the counterparts derived from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) aerosol extinction vertical profile. The hourly variation of AOCH up to 0.45 km on September 7 is shown to have important implications for estimating hourly change of surface PM2.5, although more quantitative studies are needed in the future.

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Research Program: 
Applied Sciences Program (ASP)
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)
Atmospheric Composition
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)