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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-713
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-713
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: acp letters 21 Aug 2019

Submitted as: acp letters | 21 Aug 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

A simple method for retrieval of dust aerosol optical depth with polarized reflectance over oceans

Wenbo Sun1,3, Yongxiang Hu2, Rosemary R. Baize2, Gorden Videen3,4, Sungsoo S. Kim3, Young-Jun Choi5, Kyungin Kang6, Chae Kyung Sim3, Minsup Jeong5, Ali Omar2, Snorre A. Stamnes2, and Evgenij Zubko7 Wenbo Sun et al.
  • 1Science Systems and Applications Inc, Hampton, VA 23666, USA
  • 2NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
  • 3Kyung Hee University, Yongin-shi, Kyungki-do 17104, Korea
  • 4US Army Research Lab, Adelphi Maryland 20783, USA
  • 5Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34055, Korea
  • 6Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34141, Korea
  • 7Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok 690950, Russia

Abstract. Our previous study shows that the angle of linear polarization (AOLP) of solar radiation that is scattered from clouds at near-backscatter angles can be used to detect super-thin cirrus clouds over oceans. Such clouds are too thin to be sensed using any current passive satellite instruments that only measure light's total intensity, because of the uncertainty in surface reflection. In this report, we show that with a method similar to the super-thin clouds detection algorithm, dust aerosols may also be detected and differentiated from clouds. We also show that the degree of polarization of reflected light can be used for retrieving the optical depth of dust aerosols in the neighborhood of the backscatter angle, regardless of the reflecting surface conditions. This is a simple and robust algorithm, which could be used to survey dust aerosols over midlatitude and tropical oceans.

Wenbo Sun et al.
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Short summary
Dusts have significant impact on climate and environment. Detecting dust using satellite instruments is generally conducted by measuring at multiple observation angles, due to the uncertainty of the surface reflection. This report shows that the degree of polarization of reflected light can be used for retrieving the optical depth of dust at backscatter angle only, regardless of surface conditions. This simple method is suitable for surveying dust aerosols over oceans with low-cost satellites.
Dusts have significant impact on climate and environment. Detecting dust using satellite...
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