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Open AccessArticle

A Global Analysis of Wildfire Smoke Injection Heights Derived from Space-Based Multi-Angle Imaging

by Maria Val Martin 1,*,†, Ralph A. Kahn 2,† and Mika G. Tosca 3,4
1
Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, Animal Plant Sciences Department, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
2
Climate and Radiation Laboratory, Code 613, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
3
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Chicago, IL 60603, USA
4
Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101609
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MISR)
We present an analysis of over 23,000 globally distributed wildfire smoke plume injection heights derived from Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) space-based, multi-angle stereo imaging. Both pixel-weighted and aerosol optical depth (AOD)-weighted results are given, stratified by region, biome, and month or season. This offers an observational resource for assessing first-principle plume-rise modelling, and can provide some constraints on smoke dispersion modelling for climate and air quality applications. The main limitation is that the satellite is in a sun-synchronous orbit, crossing the equator at about 10:30 a.m. local time on the day side. Overall, plumes occur preferentially during the northern mid-latitude burning season, and the vast majority inject smoke near-surface. However, the heavily forested regions of North and South America, and Africa produce the most frequent elevated plumes and the highest AOD values; some smoke is injected to altitudes well above 2 km in nearly all regions and biomes. Planetary boundary layer (PBL) versus free troposphere injection is a critical factor affecting smoke dispersion and environmental impact, and is affected by both the smoke injection height and the PBL height; an example assessment is made here, but constraining the PBL height for this application warrants further work. View Full-Text
Keywords: MISR; biomass burning; smoke plume height MISR; biomass burning; smoke plume height
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MDPI and ACS Style

Val Martin, M.; Kahn, R.A.; Tosca, M.G. A Global Analysis of Wildfire Smoke Injection Heights Derived from Space-Based Multi-Angle Imaging. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1609.

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