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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-346
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-346
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  11 Sep 2020

11 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Spectroscopic Imaging of Sub-Kilometer Spatial Structure in Lower Tropospheric Water Vapor

David R. Thompson, Brian H. Kahn, Philip G. Brodrick, Matthew D. Lebsock, Mark Richardson, and Robert O. Green David R. Thompson et al.
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91103, USA

Abstract. Understanding the subgrid spatial variability of water vapor is important for parameterizing and simulating cloud processes in General Circulation Models (GCMs). This study maps sub-kilometer spatial structures in total atmospheric column water vapor with Visible to Shortwave Infrared (VSWIR) imaging spectroscopy. We describe our inversion approach and validate its accuracy with coincident measurements by airborne imaging spectrometers and the AERONET ground-based observation network. Next, data from NASA’s AVIRIS-NG spectrometer enables the highest resolution measurement to date of water vapor’s spatial variability and scaling properties. We find second order structure function scaling exponents consistent with prior studies of convective atmospheres. Finally, we conclude by discussing the implications of these measurements and paths toward future campaigns to build upon these results.

David R. Thompson et al.

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David R. Thompson et al.

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Latest update: 17 Sep 2020
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Short summary
Concentrations of water vapor in the atmosphere vary dramatically over space and time. Mapping this variability can provide insights into atmospheric processes that help us understand atmospheric processes in the Earth system. Here we use a new measurement strategy based on imaging spectroscopy to map atmospheric water vapor concentrations at very small spatial scales. Experiments demonstrate the accuracy of this technique and some initial results from an airborne remote sensing experiment.
Concentrations of water vapor in the atmosphere vary dramatically over space and time. Mapping...
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