Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 6483-6513, 2009
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/6483/2009/
doi:10.5194/acpd-9-6483-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
An operational system for the assimilation of satellite information on wild-land fires for the needs of air quality modelling and forecasting
M. Sofiev1, R. Vankevich2, M. Lanne1, M. Prank1, V. Petukhov2, T. Ermakova2, and J. Kukkonen1
1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palmenin aukio 1, P.O.Box 503, 00101, Helsinki, Finland
2Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Malookhtinsky Avenue 98, 195196, St. Petersburg, Russia

Abstract. This paper investigates a potential of two remotely sensed wild-land fire characteristics: 4-μm Brightness Temperature Anomaly (TA) and Fire Radiative Power (FRP) for the needs of operational chemical transport modelling and the short-term forecasting of the atmospheric composition and air quality. Two treatments of the TA and FRP data are presented and a methodology for evaluating the emission fluxes is described. The method does not contain a complicated analysis of vegetation state, fuel load, burning efficiency and related factors, which are comparatively uncertain but inevitably involved in approaches based on burnt-area scars or similar products. The core of the current methodology is based on the empirical emission factors that have been derived from the analysis of several fire episodes in Europe (28 April–5 May 2006, 15–25 August 2006, August 2008 etc.). These episodes were characterised by: (i) well-identified FRP and TA values, and (ii) available independent observations of aerosol concentrations and optical thickness for the regions where fire smoke was dominant in comparison with contributions of other pollution sources. The emission factors were determined separately for the forested and grassland areas; in case of mixed-type land use an intermediate scaling was assumed. Despite significant difference between the TA and FRP products, an accurate non-linear fitting between the approaches was found. The agreement was comparatively weak only for small fires where the accuracy of both products is low. The re-analysis and forecasting applications of the Fire Assimilation System (FAS) showed that both TA and FRP products are suitable for evaluation of the emission fluxes from the wild-land fires. The concentrations of aerosols predicted by the regional dispersion modelling system SILAM appear within a factor of 2–3 from observations. The main areas of improvement include further refining the emission factors over the globe, explicit determination and appropriate treatment of the type of fires, evaluation of the injection height of the plumes and predicting the fire temporal evolution.

Citation: Sofiev, M., Vankevich, R., Lanne, M., Prank, M., Petukhov, V., Ermakova, T., and Kukkonen, J.: An operational system for the assimilation of satellite information on wild-land fires for the needs of air quality modelling and forecasting, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 6483-6513, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-6483-2009, 2009.
 
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