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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 505-521, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
30 Jan 2015
SPARTAN: a global network to evaluate and enhance satellite-based estimates of ground-level particulate matter for global health applications
G. Snider1, C. L. Weagle2, R. V. Martin1,2,3, A. van Donkelaar1, K. Conrad1, D. Cunningham1, C. Gordon1, M. Zwicker1, C. Akoshile4, P. Artaxo5, N. X. Anh6, J. Brook7, J. Dong8, R. M. Garland9, R. Greenwald10, D. Griffith11, K. He8, B. N. Holben12, R. Kahn12, I. Koren13, N. Lagrosas14, P. Lestari15, Z. Ma10, J. Vanderlei Martins16, E. J. Quel17, Y. Rudich13, A. Salam18, S. N. Tripathi19, C. Yu10, Q. Zhang8, Y. Zhang8, M. Brauer20, A. Cohen21, M. D. Gibson22, and Y. Liu10 1Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2Department of Chemistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
3Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
4Department of Physics, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
5Instituto de F\'isica, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, Travessa R, 187, São Paulo, Brazil
6Institute of Geophysics, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam
7Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
8Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
9Unit for Environmental Science and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
10Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
11Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Pretoria, South Africa
12Earth Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
13Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel
14Manila Observatory, Ateneo de Manila University campus, Quezon City, Philippines
15Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB), JL. Ganesha No.10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia
16Department of Physics and Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
17UNIDEF (CITEDEF-CONICET) Juan B. de la Salle 4397 – B1603ALO Villa Martelli, Buenos Aires, Argentina
18Department of Chemistry, University of Dhaka, Dhaka – 1000, Bangladesh
19Center for Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India
20School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
21Health Effects Institute, 101 Federal Street Suite 500, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
22Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Abstract. Ground-based observations have insufficient spatial coverage to assess long-term human exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at the global scale. Satellite remote sensing offers a promising approach to provide information on both short- and long-term exposure to PM2.5 at local-to-global scales, but there are limitations and outstanding questions about the accuracy and precision with which ground-level aerosol mass concentrations can be inferred from satellite remote sensing alone. A key source of uncertainty is the global distribution of the relationship between annual average PM2.5 and discontinuous satellite observations of columnar aerosol optical depth (AOD). We have initiated a global network of ground-level monitoring stations designed to evaluate and enhance satellite remote sensing estimates for application in health-effects research and risk assessment. This Surface PARTiculate mAtter Network (SPARTAN) includes a global federation of ground-level monitors of hourly PM2.5 situated primarily in highly populated regions and collocated with existing ground-based sun photometers that measure AOD. The instruments, a three-wavelength nephelometer and impaction filter sampler for both PM2.5 and PM10, are highly autonomous. Hourly PM2.5 concentrations are inferred from the combination of weighed filters and nephelometer data. Data from existing networks were used to develop and evaluate network sampling characteristics. SPARTAN filters are analyzed for mass, black carbon, water-soluble ions, and metals. These measurements provide, in a variety of regions around the world, the key data required to evaluate and enhance satellite-based PM2.5 estimates used for assessing the health effects of aerosols. Mean PM2.5 concentrations across sites vary by more than 1 order of magnitude. Our initial measurements indicate that the ratio of AOD to ground-level PM2.5 is driven temporally and spatially by the vertical profile in aerosol scattering. Spatially this ratio is also strongly influenced by the mass scattering efficiency.

Citation: Snider, G., Weagle, C. L., Martin, R. V., van Donkelaar, A., Conrad, K., Cunningham, D., Gordon, C., Zwicker, M., Akoshile, C., Artaxo, P., Anh, N. X., Brook, J., Dong, J., Garland, R. M., Greenwald, R., Griffith, D., He, K., Holben, B. N., Kahn, R., Koren, I., Lagrosas, N., Lestari, P., Ma, Z., Vanderlei Martins, J., Quel, E. J., Rudich, Y., Salam, A., Tripathi, S. N., Yu, C., Zhang, Q., Zhang, Y., Brauer, M., Cohen, A., Gibson, M. D., and Liu, Y.: SPARTAN: a global network to evaluate and enhance satellite-based estimates of ground-level particulate matter for global health applications, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 505-521,, 2015.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We have initiated a global network of ground-level monitoring stations to measure concentrations of fine aerosols in urban environments. Our findings include major ions species, total mass, and total scatter at three wavelengths. Results will be used to further evaluate and enhance satellite remote sensing estimates.
We have initiated a global network of ground-level monitoring stations to measure concentrations...