Improved aerosol retrieval algorithm using Landsat images and its application for PM10monitoring over urban areas

Nana Luo, Man Sing Wong, Wenji Zhao, Xing Yan, Fei Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Aerosol retrieval using MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) has been well researched over the past decade. However, the application is limited to global- and regional-scale studies, which may not be applicable for urban areas due to its low spatial resolution. To overcome the limitation, this paper proposed an improved aerosol retrieval algorithm for Landsat images (ImAero-Landsat) at spatial resolution of 30m. This ImAero-Landsat algorithm has been improved in the following two aspects: (i) it does not require a comprehensive look up table and thus it is more efficient in AOT retrieval; and (ii) it can be operated in both bright and dark surfaces. The derived aerosol optical thickness (AOT) images were validated with AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) measurements as well as MODIS MOD04 AOT products. Small root mean square errors (RMSEs) of 0.11 and 0.14 and mean absolute difference (MAD) of 0.07 and 0.11 between ImAero-Landsat AOT, with MODIS MOD04 and AERONET products were observed. By correlating with ground based PM10concentrations, the ImAero-Landsat method outperforms (r2=0.32) than MOD04 AOT products (r2=0.23). In addition, the accuracy of estimating PM10can be improved to r2=0.55 when the derived AOT was integrated with meteorological parameters. The accuracy is similar to the results derived from AERONET AOT (r2=0.62). This study offers a simple and accurate method to investigate aerosol optical thickness at detailed city-scale. Environmental authorities may use the derived methods for deriving aerosol distribution maps and pinpointing the sources of pollutants in urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-275
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Aerosol retrieval
  • Landsat image
  • PM concentrations 10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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