Mapping aerosol intrusion in Himalayan valleys using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO)
Mapping the spatial and temporal distribution of aerosols along mountain ranges is an important step toward elucidating orographic aerosol-cloud-rainfall interactions. This requires high spatial resolution aerosol observations over complex topography, which are not currently available either from ground-based observing systems or from remote-sensing products. Here, a novel approach is presented that relies on visible channels from MODIS Rapid Response data at 250 m spatial resolution to extract the daytime aerosol run-up (intrusion length and height) from the Indo-Gangetic Plains to the High Himalaya. Intrusion length and height are determined from the intersection of topography with the MODIS-derived aerosol plume using an adaptive object-classification algorithm. The methodology is demonstrated for a case study of the Arun River in eastern Nepal. Results of run-up extraction are examined along with the Total Attenuated Backscatter (Level 1B at 532 nm) from CALIPSO to investigate the regional variability of aerosol. During the pre-monsoon season, CALIPSO nighttime profiles show the presence of a slanted dust layer following the envelope topography. This is consistent with upper level transport of aerosol by north-westerly winds associated with high-frequency dust storms. In the winter, the signal is weaker, and the nighttime elevated aerosol layer is flat and remains below the envelope orography consistent with blocking conditions. For both seasons, the daytime aerosol layer detected from MODIS observations is always below the ridges. This suggests that in addition to seasonal variability governed by synoptic conditions, there is a distinct diurnal cycle in the North-South transport of aerosol between the Himalayas and the IGP. Crown Copyright © 2011.
Brun, J; Shrestha, P; Barros, AP
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