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Atmosphere 2012, 3(1), 103-123;

An Evaluation of Modeled Plume Injection Height with Satellite-Derived Observed Plume Height

Sonoma Technology, Inc., 1455 North McDowell Blvd., Suite D, Petaluma, CA 94954, USA
USDA Forest Service AirFire Team, 400 North 34th Street, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Present Address: Scion Research, 49 Sala Street, Rotorua 3046, New Zealand.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2011 / Revised: 17 December 2011 / Accepted: 6 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Emissions)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: plume injection height; biomass burning; CALIPSO; MISR; aerosol plume injection height; biomass burning; CALIPSO; MISR; aerosol

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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.

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