Injection Heights of Biomass Burning Debris Estimated From WSR-88D Radar...

Jones, T. A., and S. Christopher (2009), Injection Heights of Biomass Burning Debris Estimated From WSR-88D Radar Observations, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 47, 2599-2605, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2009.2014225.

Understanding the vertical distribution of aerosols is critical to accurately determining their effects on air quality. Since current tools for obtaining this information have limited spatial and temporal coverage, we explore the use of Doppler radar data for obtaining the injection heights of biomass burning debris (BBD) produced from large fires in southern Georgia during Spring 2007. Due to their submicrometer sizes, the smoke aerosols are not detected by the radar. Therefore, we use BBD as a possible surrogate for aerosol height since smoke aerosols are often collocated with the debris. Using 32 h of Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) radar data from Jacksonville, FL, between May 23 and 25, 2007, the injection heights of BBD (D ∼ 1 mm) are calculated. Our analysis indicates that the maximum injection height is ∼5 km for the strongest fire, with a mean injection height of 3 ± 1.0 km. Maximum injection heights are present between 1800 and 0000 UTC, during the late afternoon periods when both the intensity of the fire (based on radar information) and the convective mixing are greatest. The injection heights estimated from this approach represent the first step at providing inputs for future air-quality forecasting applications within numerical simulations, particularly ones that require diurnal information.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.