Detection of dust over deserts using satellite data in the solar wavelengths Academic Article uri icon


  • Dust is a dominant feature in satellite images and is suspected to extract large radiative forcing of climate. While remote sensing of dust over the dark oceans is feasible, adequate techniques for remote sensing over the land still have to be developed. Similar to remote sensing of aerosol over vegetated regions, the authors use a combination of visible and mid-IR solar channels to detect dust over the desert. Analysis of Landsat TM images over Senegal taken in 1987 show that the surface reflectance at 0.64 /spl mu/m is between 0.54/spl plusmn/0.05 of the reflectance at 2.1 /spl mu/m, and reflectance at 0.47 /spl mu/m is 0.26/spl plusmn/0.03 of that at 2.1 /spl mu/m, surprisingly similar to relationships in non-desert sites. They also found that dust have only a small effect on the surface+atmosphere reflectance at 2.1 /spl mu/m over the desert. Therefore, in the presence of dust, they use the Landsat TM data at 2.1 /spl mu/m channel to predict the surface reflectance at 0.64 and 0.47 /spl mu/m. The difference between the satellite-measured reflectances of surface+atmosphere and the predicted surface reflectances is used to derive the dust-optical thickness /spl tau/ at 0.64 and 0.47 /spl mu/m. Results show that /spl tau/ can be derived within /spl Delta//spl tau/=/spl plusmn/0.5 for the range of 0

publication date

  • January 1, 2000