Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
13 Jul 2009
 | 13 Jul 2009

Determination of particulate matter vertical columns using satellite observations

A. A. Kokhanovsky, A. S. Prikhach, I. L. Katsev, and E. P. Zege

Abstract. A new technique to retrieve the particulate matter vertical columns from spaceborne observations is described. The method is based on the measurements of the spectral aerosol optical thickness (AOT). The spectral slope of the derived aerosol optical thickness is used to infer the size of particles, which is needed (along with the absolute value of AOT) to determine corresponding vertical columns. The technique is applied to the case of a cloudless atmosphere over Germany and results are compared with ground-based observations. Several assumptions are made in the retrieval process such as the prescribed phase function, single scattering albedo, the refractive index of aerosol, and the half-width of the size distribution.