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Open AccessArticle

An Enhanced Satellite-Based Algorithm for Detecting and Tracking Dust Outbreaks by Means of SEVIRI Data

National Research Council, Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis, C. da S. Loja, 85050 Tito Scalo (Pz), Italy
School of Engineering, University of Basilicata, Via dell’Ateneo Lucano, 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard Müller and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(6), 537;
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
PDF [31892 KB, uploaded 27 May 2017]


Dust outbreaks are meteorological phenomena of great interest for scientists and authorities (because of their impact on the climate, environment, and human activities), which may be detected, monitored, and characterized from space using different methods and procedures. Among the recent dust detection algorithms, the RSTDUST multi-temporal technique has provided good results in different geographic areas (e.g., Mediterranean basin; Arabian Peninsula), exhibiting a better performance than traditional split window methods, in spite of some limitations. In this study, we present an optimized configuration of this technique, which better exploits data provided by Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) aboard Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites to address those issues (e.g., sensitivity reduction over arid and semi-arid regions; dependence on some meteorological clouds). Three massive dust events affecting Europe and the Mediterranean basin in May 2008/2010 are analysed in this work, using information provided by some independent and well-established aerosol products to assess the achieved results. The study shows that the proposed algorithm, christened eRSTDUST (i.e., enhanced RSTDUST), which provides qualitative information about dust outbreaks, is capable of increasing the trade-off between reliability and sensitivity. The results encourage further experimentations of this method in other periods of the year, also exploiting data provided by different satellite sensors, for better evaluating the advantages arising from the use of this dust detection technique in operational scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: dust outbreaks; satellite; SEVIRI dust outbreaks; satellite; SEVIRI

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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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Marchese, F.; Sannazzaro, F.; Falconieri, A.; Filizzola, C.; Pergola, N.; Tramutoli, V. An Enhanced Satellite-Based Algorithm for Detecting and Tracking Dust Outbreaks by Means of SEVIRI Data. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 537.

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