In preparation for the future GOES-R satellite, we propose to compare several MODIS satellite aerosol retrieval algorithms to monitor the Hawaii volcano plume. The first algorithm will be the standard NASA aerosol retrievals from the MODIS systems. The second retrieval algorithm will be based on the University of Hawaii's custom aerosol algorithm to derive images of aerosol optical depths, visibility, and aerosol type. It is expected that approximately 10 volcano plume comparison cases will be studied. This comparison effort will illustrate possible strengths and weaknesses of the different algorithms for monitoring the Hawaii volcano plume. This effort will focus on days in which validation measurements were collected as well as days in which unique plume or weather phenomena existed.
Before satellite products become useful for forecasting, they need to be compared and validated under a range of conditions. As part of this project, field measurements of aerosol properties will be carried out for different aerosol and weather conditions. Field measurements will include multi-wavelength aerosol optical depths, lidar measurements, and wind measurements. By making lidar measurements, it will be possible to obtain representative vertical distribution. Information about the vertical distribution of the volcano plume is important for determining surface aerosol concentrations and visibility amounts from satellite measurements of aerosol optical depth.
This effort will allow for an educated determination of the usefulness of the aerosol products by the by the Honolulu NWS. The comparison study is considered an important effort for assessing potential errors in retrieving information on the Hawaii volcano plume in the complex coastal environment around the Hawaiian Islands. Based on these studies, the Honolulu NWS will determine if the new information on the Hawaii volcano plume is sufficiently reliable to support new air quality forecasts from the Honolulu NWS.