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Roy, B, Pouliot, GA, Gilliland, A, Pierce, T, Howard, S, Bhave, PV, Benjey, W (2007). Refining fire emissions for air quality modeling with remotely sensed fire counts: A wildfire case study. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT, 41(3), 655-665.

This paper examines the use of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observed active fire data (pixel counts) to refine the National Emissions Inventory (NEI) fire emission estimates for major wildfire events. This study was motivated by the extremely limited information available for many years of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) NEI about the specific location and timing of major fire events. The MODIS fire data provide twice-daily snapshots of the locations and breadth of fires, which can be helpful for identifying major wildfires that typically persist for a minimum of several days. A major wildfire in Mallory Swamp, FL, is used here as a case study to test a reallocation approach for temporally and spatially distributing the state-level fire emissions based on the MODIS fire data. Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model simulations using these reallocated emissions are then compared with another simulation based on the original NEI fire emissions. We compare total carbon (TC) predictions from these CMAQ simulations against observations from the Inter-agency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) surface network. Comparisons at three IMPROVE sites demonstrate substantial improvements in the temporal variability and overall correlation for TC predictions when the MODIS fire data is used to refine the fire emission estimates. These results suggest that if limited information is available about the spatial and temporal extent of a major wildfire fire, remotely sensed fire data can be a useful surrogate for developing the fire emissions estimates for air quality modeling purposes. Published by Elsevier Ltd.



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