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Weighting aerosol with MERIS

Alexander Kokhanovsky(1), Alexander Prikhach(2), Iosif Katsev(2), Eleonora Zege(2), Arkadii Ivanov(2) and Paul Glantz(3)

(1) University of Bremen, O. Hahn Allee 1, D28334 Bremen, Germany
(2) Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Nezaleznasti Avenue 68, 220068 Minsk, Belarus
(3) Stockholm University, Frescativägen 50, SE-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden


The measurements of the mass concentration of aerosol in terrestrial atmosphere is of great importance for a number scientific disciplines, climate studies, pollution monitoring, and aerosol transport. Therefore, the aerosol particulate matter mass concentration (e.g. PM10, particulate matter with diameters of aerosol particles smaller than 10 microns) is measured in thousands locations worldwide on a regular basis. Ground measurements, however, are quite expensive and limited with respect to the spatial coverage. On the other hand, satellite measurements enable the observation of large areas (e.g., Europe) in a short time interval with varying resolution depending on the instrument. In particular, the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) onboard ENVISAT has the resolution 0.3km 0.3km, which is sufficient for pollution monitoring on a fine scale. The task of this paper is to present a novel technique for the determination of the aerosol mass concentration from spaceborne observations. The idea of the technique is quite simple. The proposed method is based on the retrieval of the Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) in the spectral range 412-670nm, from satellite data. This enables the determination of the effective radius of particles, which is needed (along with the absolute value of optical thickness) to determine the vertical columns of the particular matter.