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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(3), 208; doi:10.3390/rs9030208

Investigation of Simultaneous Effects of Aerosol Properties and Aerosol Peak Height on the Air Mass Factors for Space-Borne NO2 Retrievals

Division of Earth Environmental System Science Major of Spatial Information Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan 608-737, Korea
Department of Atmosphere Science, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Department of Urban Environmental Engineering, Kyungnam University, Changwon 631-701, Korea
Department of Energy & Mineral Resource Engineering, Dong-A University, Busan 604-714, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard Müller and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6291 KB, uploaded 25 February 2017]   |  


We investigate the simultaneous effects of aerosol peak height (APH), aerosol properties, measurement geometry, and other factors on the air mass factor for NO2 retrieval at sites with high NO2 concentration. A comparison of the effects of high and low surface reflectance reveals that NO2 air mass factor (AMF) values over a snowy surface (surface reflectance 0.8) are generally higher than those over a deciduous forest surface (surface reflectance 0.05). Under high aerosol optical depth (AOD) conditions, the aerosol shielding effect over a high-albedo surface is revealed to reduce the path-length of light at the surface, whereas high single scattering albedo (SSA) conditions (e.g., SSA = 0.95) lead to an increase in the aerosol albedo effect, which results in an increased AMF over areas with low surface reflectance. We also conducted an in-depth study of the APH effect on AMF. For an AOD of 0.1 and half width (HW) of 5 km, NO2 AMF decreases by 29% from 1.36 to 0.96 as APH changes from 0 to 2 km. In the case of high-AOD conditions (0.9) and HW of 5 km, the NO2 AMF decreases by 240% from 1.85 to 0.54 as APH changes from 0 to 2 km. The AMF variation due to error in the model input parameters (e.g., AOD, SSA, aerosol shape, and APH) is also examined. When APH is 0 km with an AOD of 0.4, SSA of 0.88, and surface reflectance of 0.05, a 30% error in AOD induces an AMF error of between 4.85% and −3.67%, an SSA error of 0.04 leads to NO2 VCD errors of between 4.46% and −4.77%, and a 30% error in AOD induces an AMF error of between −9.53% and 8.35% with an APH of 3 km. In addition to AOD and SSA, APH is an important factor in calculating AMF, due to the 2 km error in APH under high-SZA conditions, which leads to an NO2 VCD error of over 60%. Aerosol shape is also found to have a measureable effect on AMF under high-AOD and small relative azimuth angle (RAA) conditions. The diurnal effect of the NO2 profile is also examined and discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: NO2; air mass factor; DOAS method; aerosol peak height NO2; air mass factor; DOAS method; aerosol peak height

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hong, H.; Lee, H.; Kim, J.; Jeong, U.; Ryu, J.; Lee, D.S. Investigation of Simultaneous Effects of Aerosol Properties and Aerosol Peak Height on the Air Mass Factors for Space-Borne NO2 Retrievals. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 208.

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