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Guleria, RP; Kuniyal, JC; Rawat, PS; Thakur, HK; Sharma, M; Sharma, NL; Dhyani, PP; Singh, M (2012). Validation of MODIS retrieval aerosol optical depth and an investigation of aerosol transport over Mohal in north western Indian Himalaya. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 33(17), 5379-5401.

This study deals with the optical properties of aerosols during 2007 over Mohal (31.9 degrees N, 77.12 degrees E) in north western Indian Himalaya, investigated using ground-based measurements and multi-satellite data. The daily average (mean +/- standard deviation) aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 500 nm, Angstrom exponent and turbidity coefficient values were 0.2 +/- 0.1, 1.1 +/- 0.3 and 0.1 +/- 0.1, respectively. About 84% of AOD values retrieved from satellites were found to be within an uncertainty limit with a significant correlation coefficient around 0.70. The present study suggests that AOD retrieval using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is able to characterize AOD distribution over Mohal. However, to eliminate systematic errors, the existing MODIS algorithm needs to be modified in view of the changing aerosol optical properties, especially during the biomass-burning period. To investigate the influence of aerosol transport, a multi-sensor approach in conjunction with back-trajectory analysis was used. The observed higher values of AOD during dust-loading days with simultaneous study of the space-borne lidar measurements as well as back-trajectory analysis suggest the influx of desert aerosols. Transport of dust aerosols on 12 April, 27 April and 1 June caused a significant reduction in surface-reaching solar irradiance by 43, 40 and 39 W m(-2), respectively. Atmospheric forcing during these days increased by 33.8, 33.0 and 33.2 W m(-2), which translates into atmospheric heating rates of 0.95, 0.93 and 0.93 K day(-1), respectively. This indicates significant climatic implications due to arriving aerosols in north-western Indian Himalaya.



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