Abstract: Plume injection height influences plume transport characteristics, such as range and potential for dilution. We evaluated plume injection height from a predictive wildland fire smoke transport model over the contiguous United States (U.S.) from 2006 to 2008 using satellite-derived information, including plume top heights from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) Plume Height Climatology Project and aerosol vertical profiles from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP). While significant geographic variability was found in the comparison between modeled plumes and satellite-detected plumes, modeled plume heights were lower overall. In the eastern U.S., satellite-detected and modeled plume heights were similar (median height 671 and 660 m respectively). Both satellite-derived and modeled plume injection heights were higher in the western U.S. (2345 and 1172 m, respectively). Comparisons of modeled plume injection height to satellite-derived plume height at the fire location (R2 = 0.1) were generally worse than comparisons done downwind of the fire (R2 = 0.22). This suggests that the exact injection height is not as important as placement of the plume in the correct transport layer for transport modeling.
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Raffuse, S.M.; Craig, K.J.; Larkin, N.K.; Strand, T.T.; Sullivan, D.C.; Wheeler, N.J.M.; Solomon, R. An Evaluation of Modeled Plume Injection Height with Satellite-Derived Observed Plume Height. Atmosphere 2012, 3, 103-123.
Raffuse SM, Craig KJ, Larkin NK, Strand TT, Sullivan DC, Wheeler NJM, Solomon R. An Evaluation of Modeled Plume Injection Height with Satellite-Derived Observed Plume Height. Atmosphere. 2012; 3(1):103-123.
Raffuse, Sean M.; Craig, Kenneth J.; Larkin, Narasimhan K.; Strand, Tara T.; Sullivan, Dana Coe; Wheeler, Neil J. M.; Solomon, Robert. 2012. "An Evaluation of Modeled Plume Injection Height with Satellite-Derived Observed Plume Height." Atmosphere 3, no. 1: 103-123.