Effects of particle nonsphericity and radiation polarization on retrieving dust...

Feng, Q., P. Yang, G. W. Kattawar, N. C. Hsu, S. Tsay, and I. Laszlo (2009), Effects of particle nonsphericity and radiation polarization on retrieving dust properties from MODIS observations, Aerosol Science, 40, 776-789, doi:10.1016/j.jaerosci.2009.05.001.

The scattering and radiative properties of mineral dust aerosols at violet-to-blue (0.412, 0.441, and 0.470 m) and red (0.650 m) wavelengths are investigated. To account for the effect of particle nonsphericity on the optical properties of dust aerosols, in the present study, these particles are assumed to be spheroids. A combination of the T-matrix method and an improved geometric optics method is applied to the computation of the single-scattering properties of spheroidal particles with size parameters ranging from the Rayleigh to geometric optics regimes. For comparison, the Lorenz–Mie theory is employed to compute the optical properties of spherical dust particles that have the same volumes as their nonspherical counterparts. The differences between the phase functions of spheroidal and spherical particles lead to quite different lookup tables involved in retrieving dust aerosol properties. Moreover, the applicability of a hybrid approach based on the spheroid model for the phase function and the sphere model for the other phase matrix elements is also demonstrated. The present sensitivity study, employing the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) measurements and the fundamental principle of the Deep Blue algorithm, illustrates that neglecting the nonsphericity of dust particles usually leads to an underestimate of retrieved aerosol optical depth; although, depending on the scattering angle, an overestimate is noted in some cases. Furthermore, the effect of including full polarization treatment in forward radiative transfer simulation on dust property retrieval is also investigated. It is found that the effect of radiation polarization on the Deep Blue dust property retrieval is not negligible if the retrieval is based on two violet—blue channels centered at 0.412 and 0.470 m.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)