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

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doi:10.5194/amtd-8-443-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
13 Jan 2015
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
A novel retrieval of daytime atmospheric dust and volcanic ash heights through a synergy of AIRS infrared radiances and MODIS L2 optical depths
S. DeSouza-Machado1, L. Strow1, E. Maddy2, O. Torres3, G. Thomas4,*, D. Grainger4, and A. Robinson5 1Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology/Physics Department, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA
2Riverside Technology, Inc, College Park, MD, USA
3NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD, USA
4Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
5Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA
*now at: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Space, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxford, UK
Abstract. We present a novel method to retrieve daytime atmospheric dust and ash plume heights using a synergy of infrared hyper-spectral radiances and retrieved visible optical depths. The method is developed using data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), both of which are on NASA's Aqua platform, and lends itself to also a χ2 height derivation based on the smallest bias between observations and calculations in the thermal infrared window. The retrieval methodology is validated against almost 30 months of dust centroid heights obtained from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIOP) data, and against ash plume heights obtained from the Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) after the Puyehue Cordon Caulle volcanic eruption of June 2011. Comparisons are also made against Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) climatological aerosol heights. In general there is good agreement between the heights from the CALIPSO data and the AIRS/MODIS retrieval, especially over the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions; over land one there are more noticeable differences. The AIRS/MODIS derived heights are within typically 25% of the CALIOP centroid heights.

Citation: DeSouza-Machado, S., Strow, L., Maddy, E., Torres, O., Thomas, G., Grainger, D., and Robinson, A.: A novel retrieval of daytime atmospheric dust and volcanic ash heights through a synergy of AIRS infrared radiances and MODIS L2 optical depths, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 8, 443-485, doi:10.5194/amtd-8-443-2015, 2015.
S. DeSouza-Machado et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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RC C39: 'Review', Anonymous Referee #2, 04 Feb 2015 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C524: 'Response to Reviewer #2', S.G. DeSouza-Machado, 03 Apr 2015 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC C65: 'Comments', Anonymous Referee #3, 09 Feb 2015 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C520: 'Response to Reviewer #3', S.G. DeSouza-Machado, 03 Apr 2015 Printer-friendly Version 
S. DeSouza-Machado et al.
S. DeSouza-Machado et al.

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Short summary
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are instruments on the 1.30 pm polar orbiting Aqua spacecraft. We describe a daytime estimation of dust and volcanic ash layer heights, using a retrieval algorithm that uses the information in the AIRS L1B thermal infrared data, constrained by the MODIS L2 aerosol optical depths. CALIOP aerosol centroid heights are used for dust height comparisons, as are AATSR volcanic plume heights.
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer...
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