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Estimation of NO2 amounts emitted from the Portuguese wildfires in 2005: A synergistic use of observations by imaging and atmospheric instruments and chemistry-transport models

Julian Meyer-Arnek(1) and Pieter Valks(2)

(1) DLR - German Aerospace Center, DLR-DFD-KA, 82234 Wessling, Germany
(2) DLR - German Aerospace Center, DLR-IMF-AP, 82234 Wessling, Germany


During August and September 2005, severe wildfires took place on the Iberian Peninsula. Wildfires are generally associated with large/strong emissions of NO2 and other ozone precursors. In this study, tropospheric vertical NO2 columns derived from SCIAMACHY observations are used to quantify NO2 emissions from wildfires and soils on the Iberian Peninsula. At DLR-DFD tropospheric vertical NO2 columns are operationally derived using a synergistic approach combining SCIAMACHY measurements and results from stratospheric and tropospheric chemistry models. First, the SCIAMACHY total slant NO2 column is separated into a stratospheric and a tropospheric part. The stratospheric slant NO2 column is derived from the chemistry and transport model (CTM) ROSE/DLR. This CTM is routinely applied for the assimilation of ozone derived from SCIAMACHY measurements. Secondly, the tropospheric vertical NO2 column is computed from the tropospheric slant column by applying a tropospheric air mass factor (AMF) depending on the NO2 profile, the surface albedo and the cloudiness. The AMF are calculated using the LIDORT radiative transfer model (v2.2+) and tropospheric NO2 profile shape information derived from the EURAD/RIU air quality model. The EURAD model system simulates the physical, chemical and dynamical processes which control emission, production, transport and deposition of atmospheric trace species. At DLR-DFD this model is operationally used to forecast the air quality over Europe. NO2 emissions from wildfires and soils are derived from the retrieved tropospheric vertical columns by steady state chemistry calculations. The emitted NO2 is assumed to balance the NO2 loss, which is due to transport and chemical conversion in the regarded domain.


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Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry