• Monitoring ground-level air quality from space across Alaska
    • Alyson McPhetres (Engineering graduate student)
    • April 07, 2017

Validation of MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD) for prediction of near-ground air quality in Alaska

The air quality monitoring network in Alaska is currently limited to urban areas and national parks leaving a large proportion of the state unmonitored. The use of MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD) to estimate ground-level particulate pollution concentrations has been successfully demonstrated around the world, and could potentially be used in Alaska.

In this work, MODIS AOD measurements at 550 nm were validated against AOD derived from AERONET ground-based sunphotometers in Barrow and Bonanza Creek to determine if MODIS AOD from the Terra and Aqua satellites could be used to estimate ground-level particulate pollution concentrations. The MODIS AOD was obtained from MODIS collection 6 using the dark target Land and Ocean algorithms from 2000 to 2014. MODIS could only be obtained between the months of April and October, therefore it could only be validated for those months. The MODIS collection 6 products at 10 km resolution for Terra and Aqua combined are not valid over land but are valid over the ocean. The individual Terra and Aqua MODIS collection 6 AOD products at 10 km resolution are valid over land individually but not when combined. Results suggest the MODIS collection 6 AOD products at 3 km resolution are valid over land and ocean and perform better over land than the 10 km product. These findings indicate that MODIS collection 6 AOD products can be used quantitatively in air quality applications in Alaska during the summer months.

 

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  • Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC)
  • 437 Duckering
  • 306 Tanana Loop
  • PO Box 75 5860
  • Fairbanks, AK 99775-5860, USA