Articles | Volume 14, issue 8
Research article
13 Aug 2021
Research article |  | 13 Aug 2021

Boundary layer water vapour statistics from high-spatial-resolution spaceborne imaging spectroscopy

Mark T. Richardson, David R. Thompson, Marcin J. Kurowski, and Matthew D. Lebsock

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Cited articles

Bedka, K. M., Nehrir, A. R., Kavaya, M., Barton-Grimley, R., Beaubien, M., Carroll, B., Collins, J., Cooney, J., Emmitt, G. D., Greco, S., Kooi, S., Lee, T., Liu, Z., Rodier, S., and Skofronick-Jackson, G.: Airborne lidar observations of wind, water vapor, and aerosol profiles during the NASA Aeolus calibration and validation (Cal/Val) test flight campaign, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 4305–4334,, 2021. 
Bennartz, R. and Fischer, J.: Retrieval of columnar water vapour over land from backscattered solar radiation using the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer, Remote Sens. Environ., 78, 274–283,, 2001. 
Berk, A., Conforti, P., Kennett, R., Perkins, T., Hawes, F., and van den Bosch, J.: MODTRAN6: a major upgrade of the MODTRAN radiative transfer code, Velez-Reyes, M. and Kruse, F. A. (Eds.), Proceedings Volume 9088, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XX, SPIE Defense + Security, 2014, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, p. 90880H,, 2014 (data available at:, last access: 19 March 2020). 
Berk, A., Conforti, P., and Hawes, F.: An accelerated line-by-line option for MODTRAN combining on-the-fly generation of line center absorption within 0.1 cm−1 bins and pre-computed line tails, edited by: Velez-Reyes, M. and Kruse, F. A., Proceedings Volume 9472, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XXI, SPIE Defense + Security, 2015, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, p. 947217,, 2015 (data available at:, last access: 19 March 2020). 
Borger, C., Beirle, S., Dörner, S., Sihler, H., and Wagner, T.: Total column water vapour retrieval from S-5P/TROPOMI in the visible blue spectral range, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 2751–2783,, 2020. 
Short summary
Modern and upcoming hyperspectral imagers will take images with spatial resolutions as fine as 20 m. They can retrieve column water vapour, and we show evidence that from these column measurements you can get statistics of planetary boundary layer (PBL) water vapour. This is important information for climate models that need to account for sub-grid mixing of water vapour near the surface in their PBL schemes.