Articles | Volume 7, issue 10
Research article
10 Oct 2014
Research article |  | 10 Oct 2014

Effect of surface BRDF of various land cover types on geostationary observations of tropospheric NO2

K. Noguchi, A. Richter, V. Rozanov, A. Rozanov, J. P. Burrows, H. Irie, and K. Kita

Abstract. We investigated the effect of surface reflectance anisotropy, bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF), on satellite retrievals of tropospheric NO2. We assume the geometry of geostationary measurements over Tokyo, which is one of the worst air-polluted regions in East Asia. We calculated air mass factors (AMF) and box AMFs (BAMF) for tropospheric NO2 to evaluate the effect of BRDF by using the radiative transfer model SCIATRAN. To model the BRDF effect, we utilized the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products (MOD43B1 and MOD43B2), which provide three coefficients to express the RossThick–LiSparse reciprocal model, a semi-empirical and kernel-based model of BRDF. Because BRDF depends on the land cover type, we also utilized the High Resolution Land-Use and Land-Cover Map of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS)/Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type 2 (AVNIR-2), which classifies the ground pixels over Tokyo into six main types: water, urban, paddy, crop, deciduous forest, and evergreen forest. We first develop an empirical model of the three BRDF coefficients for each land cover type over Tokyo and then apply the model to the calculation of land-cover-type-dependent AMFs and BAMFs. Results show that the variability of AMF among the land types is up to several tens of percent, and if we neglect the reflectance anisotropy, the difference with AMFs based on BRDF reaches 10% or more. The evaluation of the BAMFs calculated shows that not considering BRDF will cause large errors if the concentration of NO2 is high close to the surface, although the importance of BRDF for AMFs decreases for large aerosol optical depth (AOD).