Analytical approach to estimating aerosol extinction and visibility from satellite observations

Kwon Ho Lee, Man Sing Wong, Kyungwon Kim, Seung Shik Park

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the application of satellite data to the evaluation of aerosol extinction and visibility, for a better understanding of the spatio-temporal variation of local air quality in urban areas. Anew analytical model based on aerosol microphysics and non-linear exponential fitting was applied to the analysis of aerosol extinction using aerosol optical thickness (AOT, τa) data retrieved from the MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), over one of the largest global megacities: Seoul, Korea. The relationship between the MODIS τaand ground-based aerosol measurements of particulate matter mass concentration, extinction, and surface visibility was assessed over Seoul, Korea, during eight intensive observation periods in 2007-2009. The results clearly demonstrate that satellite-derived τais a good surrogate for monitoring aerosol extinction and visibility over this study area. In particular, it is found that MODIS-estimated visibility values have a closer relation to the observed values than traditionally assumed Koschemeider's relation. The analytical results shown in this study can provide a better understanding of aerosol extinction and visibility in megacity, as well as for routine visibility monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Aerosol
  • Analytical model
  • Extinction
  • Satellite
  • Visibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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