Gharai, B; Jose, S; Mahalakshmi, DV (2013). Monitoring intense dust storms over the Indian region using satellite data - a case study. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 34(20), 7038-7048.
Dust storms are normally considered to be natural hazards. During such events, dust aerosol is loaded into the atmosphere, directly reducing visibility and effectively reflecting solar radiation back to space. In the present study, an intense dust storm was monitored during the first week of June 2010 using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra and Aqua data over the Indian region. A dust cloud was detected using a combination of MODIS reflective and emissive channels and moving trace/spread monitored by its multi-temporal data. The MODIS Terra-derived aerosol optical depth at 550 nm (AOD(550)) and the aerosol index (AI) obtained from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) were used in conjunction with National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalysis wind fields for the monitoring of dust clouds. The study reveals that the movement of a high concentration of dust clouds coincided with the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis meridional and zonal wind fields (>8ms(-1)) at pressure levels of 700 hPa. The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSOs) that derive vertical feature mask images also suggested that the vertical extent of the dust aerosol layer was at a height of about 6 km over northern India on 2 June 2010. The roles of long-range transport of dust over the entire Gangetic plane are analysed using back trajectories from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model. Back trajectory analysis suggests that dust clouds moving over long distances entered from the western side of India on 1 June 2010.