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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 6 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 3263-3280, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-3263-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 Jun 2018

Research article | 07 Jun 2018

A weighted least squares approach to retrieve aerosol layer height over bright surfaces applied to GOME-2 measurements of the oxygen A band for forest fire cases over Europe

Swadhin Nanda1,2, J. Pepijn Veefkind1,2, Martin de Graaf1, Maarten Sneep1, Piet Stammes1, Johan F. de Haan1, Abram F. J. Sanders3, Arnoud Apituley1, Olaf Tuinder1, and Pieternel F. Levelt1,2 Swadhin Nanda et al.
  • 1Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Utrechtseweg 297, 3731 GA De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • 2Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, the Netherlands
  • 3University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics, Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany

Abstract. This paper presents a weighted least squares approach to retrieve aerosol layer height from top-of-atmosphere reflectance measurements in the oxygen A band (758–770nm) over bright surfaces. A property of the measurement error covariance matrix is discussed, due to which photons travelling from the surface are given a higher preference over photons that scatter back from the aerosol layer. This is a potential source of biases in the estimation of aerosol properties over land, which can be mitigated by revisiting the design of the measurement error covariance matrix. The alternative proposed in this paper, which we call the dynamic scaling method, introduces a scene-dependent and wavelength-dependent modification in the measurement signal-to-noise ratio in order to influence this matrix. This method is generally applicable to other retrieval algorithms using weighted least squares. To test this method, synthetic experiments are done in addition to application to GOME-2A and GOME-2B measurements of the oxygen A band over the August 2010 Russian wildfires and the October 2017 Portugal wildfire plume over western Europe.

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An approach to estimate the height of aerosol plumes over land from satellite measurements of the oxygen A band is proposed. The method, termed dynamic scaling, forces the retrieval to use spectral points that contain more height information. The method is tested in a synthetic environment as well as with GOME-2A and GOME-2B measurements of wildfire plumes over Europe, with very encouraging results. This method can be easily applied to other aerosol height algorithms using least squares.
An approach to estimate the height of aerosol plumes over land from satellite measurements of...
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