Qu, JJ, Hao, XJ, Kafatos, M, Wang, LL (2006). Asian dust storm monitoring combining terra and aqua MODIS SRB measurements. IEEE GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING LETTERS, 3(4), 484-486.

Sand and dust storms (SDSs), which present environmental risks and affect the regional climate, have been worsened in the East Asian regions over the last decade. Monitoring SDS from space using satellite remote sensing (RS) has become one of the most important issues in this field. At present, satellite RS of SDS is limited to using true-color images or aerosol optical thickness (AOT), or a new algorithm called Deep Blue. Using current existing approaches makes it difficult to identify SDS from clouds. The authors have detected SDS by combining Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) solar reflectance band (SRB) measurements. Based on the dust spectral characteristic, this letter proposes a normalized difference dust index (NDDI) using MODIS reflectance measurements and applies it to the Asian SDS cases. The simple NDDI index is found to be able to identify SDS and clouds easily. The results suggest that NDDI could be used to detect SDS over bright surfaces where the MODIS AOT product is not available.