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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 9 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1713-1733, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-4-1713-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 01 Sep 2011

Research article | 01 Sep 2011

Development of a high spectral resolution surface albedo product for the ARM Southern Great Plains central facility

S. A. McFarlane1, K. L. Gaustad1, E. J. Mlawer2, C. N. Long1, and J. Delamere2 S. A. McFarlane et al.
  • 1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 2Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc., Lexington, MA, USA

Abstract. We present a method for identifying dominant surface type and estimating high spectral resolution surface albedo at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma for use in radiative transfer calculations. Given a set of 6-channel narrowband visible and near-infrared irradiance measurements from upward and downward looking multi-filter radiometers (MFRs), four different surface types (snow-covered, green vegetation, partial vegetation, non-vegetated) can be identified. A normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is used to distinguish between vegetated and non-vegetated surfaces, and a scaled NDVI index is used to estimate the percentage of green vegetation in partially vegetated surfaces. Based on libraries of spectral albedo measurements, a piecewise continuous function is developed to estimate the high spectral resolution surface albedo for each surface type given the MFR albedo values as input. For partially vegetated surfaces, the albedo is estimated as a linear combination of the green vegetation and non-vegetated surface albedo values. The estimated albedo values are evaluated through comparison to high spectral resolution albedo measurements taken during several Intensive Observational Periods (IOPs) and through comparison of the integrated spectral albedo values to observed broadband albedo measurements. The estimated spectral albedo values agree well with observations for the visible wavelengths constrained by the MFR measurements, but have larger biases and variability at longer wavelengths. Additional MFR channels at 1100 nm and/or 1600 nm would help constrain the high resolution spectral albedo in the near infrared region.

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