Henderson, BG, Chylek, P, Porch, WM, Dubey, MK (2006). Satellite remote sensing of aerosols generated by the Island of Nauru. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 111(D22), D22209.
We use imagery from the Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI) to search for aerosols generated by the Island of Nauru, an island located in the tropical western Pacific Ocean. Nauru frequently displays linear cloud trails for many kilometers downwind of the island, and this study was intended to investigate the presence of aerosols as an aid to understanding those features. The study had three components: (1) a search for specific aerosol plumes, (2) a comparison of downwind and upwind aerosol loading to look for asymmetries, and (3) application of matched filters to increase the visibility of aerosol plumes. The plume search resulted in the finding of three aerosol plumes, two of which are presented as imagery and also radiance profiles. The comparison of downwind and upwind reflectance spectra demonstrated that the radiance is slightly higher downwind of the island, and the residual spectra (downwind minus upwind) have a spectrum consistent with sea salt aerosol. Application of clutter-matched filters to MTI imagery accentuated the upper (near source) sections of an aerosol plume when utilizing a single-scatter albedo signature for coarse-grained sea salt aerosol. We combine our observations with models from the literature to describe a simple mechanism by which Nauru aerosols are created by wave breaking and wind tearing of sea spray and then entrained by island-influenced wind motions.