La Palma eruption (Canary Islands) – volcanic plumes tracking by our LiDARs
Keywords : LiDARs, Aerosols, Atmosphere, La Palma, Cumbre Vieja volcano, CE376.
6th October 2021
The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands erupted on 19th September for the first time since 1971 resulting in large lava flows and evacuations.
Due to the volcanic eruption, nearly 10 000 tons of sulfur dioxide are released in the atmosphere every day. The risks generated are acid rain and deterioration of air quality which can lead to respiratory problems.
In a few words, this phenomenon is due to the fact that the lava of the volcano which reaches 1000°C meets the sea water which is at around 20°C. Therefore, the sodium chloride contained in the sea breaks down the water into oxygen and hydrogen. However, when hydrogen meets chlorine, they turn into hydrochloric acid which is an extremely dangerous gas.
There are many consequences such as the impact on the air quality which directly concerns the surrounding populations who breathe a toxic smoke harmful for their health.
Air traffic is also strongly impacted as all the flights departing from the island have been cancelled. These disturbances are also due to the lack of instruments measuring aerosols (such as LiDARs) to accurately identify the location of the volcanic ash as well as its characteristics and concentration.
Our CE376 LiDARs in AEMET (Izaña) is tracking plumes of the volcanic ash from the volcanic eruption on La Palma and here are some results to illustrate it.
The volcano is propelling air into the atmosphere which meets a thermal inversion – a reversal of the normal behavior of temperature in the troposphere where a layer of hot air sits above a layer of cooler air.
ATTO: the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory, an Amazon research project
Keywords : ATTO, Aerosols, Photometer, Atmosphere
The Amazon Tall Tower
Observatory (ATTO) is the world’s highest research facility located in the
middle of the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil. It is a research site with a
325 meters tower for atmospheric observations.
This joint German-Brazilian
project was launched in 2008 in order to further the understanding of the
Amazon rainforest and its interaction with the soil beneath and the atmosphere
above. This is made possible by recording continuously meteorological, chemical
and biological data such as greenhouse gases or aerosols.
Scientists and researchers on
site hope to gain insights into how the Amazon interacts with the atmosphere
and the soil. This region is very important for the global climate as Saharan
dust, biomass smoke from Africa, urban and marine aerosols come from long
distances due to the winds. It is vital to get a better understanding of this
area for environmental decisions.
On this gigantic tower, a CE318-T photometer is installed at 210 meters from the ground and allows a more efficient calculation of the quantity of aerosols present in the air around this site. The photometer uses NASA’s AERONET calibration system to collect the most reliable data possible.
At the core of the project is
to learn more about biogeochemical cycles, the water cycle and energy fluxes in
the Amazon. The goal is to determine their impact on global climate and how
they are influenced by the changing climate and land-use change.
ATTO teams strive to close a
gap in the global climate monitoring network and want to improve climate
prediction models and to recognize the importance of the Amazon within the
Thanks to our sun-photometer, the scientists on site were able to collect information on daily mean AOD values at 550 nm wavelength. These data allowed us to analyze the soils present in the atmosphere of the Amazon forest. Here some results of the ATTO project with our sun-photometer between August and September 2019.
Bencherif, Nelson Bègue, Damaris Kirsch Pinheiro, David Du Preez, Jean-Maurice
Cadet, et al.. Investigating the Long-Range
Transport of Aerosol Plumes Following the Amazon Fires (August 2019): A
Multi-Instrumental Approach from Ground-Based and Satellite Observations.
Remote Sensing, MDPI, 2020, Advances in Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning, 12
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has recognised the Word Optical Depth Research and Calibration Center (WORCC) as the primary reference center for Aerosol Optical Depth measurements. The WORCC is a section within the World Radiation Center at the Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos (PMOD/WRC), located in Davos, Switzerland.
With its new QA4EO project, European Space Agency (ESA) wishes to obtain homogeneous results between the various passive monitoring networks of passive remote sensing of aerosol optical properties, presents in Davos and in France at the Observatoire de Haute Provence (OHP).
Consequently, a precision filter radiometer (PFR) travelling standard was installed at the European calibration site of AERONET to supply continuous traceability of aerosol optical depth measurements to the World reference maintained at Davos through a PFR Triad.
The precision filter radiometer was installed in July 2020 at the Observatoire de Haute Provence (OHP) on a solar tracker provided by the Laboratoire d’Observation Atmosphérique (LOA) next to our 4 sun photometers (CE318-T).
The measurements of spectral solar irradiance during
clear sky periods are used to retrieve AOD from our photometers with AERONET
calibration and the PFR.
You can follow the comparison between these two instruments in real time on this web page. This real-time analysis allows for continuous monitoring and quality control of the measurements provided by these two devices.
After 6 months of comparison (August 2020 to
January 2021) between the two networks, results have been very promising with
an Aerosol Optical Depth difference of less than 0.01, corresponding perfectly
to the WMO criteria for AOD traceability for 3 of its 4 channels. This shows
that the results provided by CIMEL CE318-T photometers are in line with the WMO
expectations and that CIMEL photometers may be used as an instrument of reference
for other research projects.
Other projects are in parallel with this one such as the 19ENV04 project funded by EURAMET and the European Commission to extend the traceability of international unit systems through the characterization and calibration of our Sun/Sky/Lunar photometers from these networks (See more information here).
between research institutes and the European metrology community will establish
a consistent framework providing calibrations of our Sun/Sky/Lunar photometers
with traceability to the SI as well as comprehensive uncertainty budgets that
will be a necessary part of the data provided to the users and actors of these
Kazadzis, S., Kouremeti, N., Nyeki, S., Gröbner, J., and Wehrli, C.: The World
Optical Depth Research and Calibration Center (WORCC) quality assurance and quality
control of GAW-PFR AOD measurements, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 7,
39-53, https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-7-39-2018, 2018.
Ship-borne CE318-T photometer aboard the Marion Dufresne in the frame of the MAP-IO.
January 11th – March 8th2021
Since the beginning of January 2021, one of our CE318-T photometers is permanently embarked on the Marion Dufresne as part of the MAP-IO (Marion Dufresne Atmospheric Program – Indian Ocean) research programme.
The objective of a permanent installation of our photometer on the Marion Dufresne is to allow the measurement of atmospheric aerosols from mobile platforms, and to extend and automate the coverage of the AERONET network.
In future campaigns, our photometer will be used mainly in the Southern Hemisphere and the Indian Ocean to measure the aerosol optical depth (AOD). The new campaign that has just started is the result of preparatory campaigns like OCEANET and SEA2CLOUD, during which the system has been tested, improved and validated.
Below, the preliminary results of the campaign obtained thanks to satellite data transmitted to the LOA/CNRS to measure spectral AOD, water vapour content, Ångström exponent, and sky radiance for AERONET.
To monitor long-term atmospheric changes in the Indian and Austral oceans regions which are very poorly documented (IR ACTRIS and ICOS).
To calibrate and validation data from satellites.
To understand better the ocean-atmosphere exchanges and regional pollution by improving and adapting and adapting the parametizations used in numerical weather and climate predition models over the Indian and the Austral oceans.
If you want to know more about this campaign click here!
ROSAS – A new BRDF photometer installed in Lamasquère by CESBIO
Lamasquère site (France) is now equipped with a CIMEL 12 filters photometer (CE318-TU12)
which measures direct and diffuse irradiation, and the directional reflectance
of the surface (BRDF).
system, installed in March 2021, is called RObotic Station for Atmosphere
and Surface (ROSAS) and operates mounted on top of a 10 m high
mast in a field on the agricultural area of Lamothe farm in Lamasquère
(France). The CESBIO ROSAS station is thus the 3rd site of this type worldwide
after the CNES station in La Crau (France) and the CNES/ESA station in Gobabeb
(Namibia), and the first to characterize an agricultural vegetated surface,
with seasonal and inter-annual variations of the cover.
The spatial and
temporal heterogeneity of the surface of this new site makes it more suitable
for the validation of surface reflectance (after atmospheric correction), than
for the absolute calibration of satellite sensors, as it is the case for La
Crau and Gobabeb. When the Lamasquère field crops become very green and dense,
the surfaces are dark and the atmospheric correction errors have a strong
impact on the reflectance estimates, and when the crops are mature or the plot
is bare ground, the adjacency effects due to the nearby forest become strong.
Such in situ measurements are thus of primary interest to CESBIO, CNES and the
broader scientific community.
data are automatically transmitted to CESBIO and CNES every hour via the mobile
phone network (GPRS), and processed periodically to derive the filtered
bi-directional reflectance distribution function (BRDF).
below, you can find the first BRDF measurements acquired a few days after the validation of the
RIMA NASA-AERONET network: Long-term monitoring of aerosol properties
RIMA (Red Ibérica de Medida fotométrica de Aerosoles) is a scientific network for the long-term monitoring of columnar aerosol properties based on sun-photometer measurements. RIMA is federated to AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork), a NASA program in collaboration with the University of Lille (LOA). According to the AERONET aims, the scientific objectives of RIMA involve the characterization of aerosols for climate studies, the validation of satellite products and the synergies with other measurements and data correlation.
RIMA follows all AERONET protocols (calibration, measurements, data policy, etc.) and its sites and data are available through the AERONET web site. The key task of calibration and the network management are carried out by the Group of Atmospheric Optics of the University of Valladolid (GOA-UVa) and master instruments are calibrated at the high-mountain facility CIAI (Izaña Atmospheric Research Center, AEMET) in collaboration withPHOTONS and CIAI-AEMET. Large support is obtained from the AERONET (NASA) and PHOTONS (University of Lille). The calibration facility used by CIMEL for photometers in Izaña is important thanks to its pure sky and its absolute zero which allows a perfect calibration of those solutions since 2006.
A software named Caelis was recently developed by GOA as a service to the RIMA community with the aim to facilitate the network management and the control of the site instruments and measurements. This tool relies on a powerful relational data base which represents a great potential for the scientific work as well.
CIAI: Centro de Investigación Atmosférica de Izaña
GOA-Uva: Grupo de Optica Atmosférica – Universidad de Valladolid
LOA: Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique
Citation : Toledano, C. & Cachorro, Victoria & Berjón, Alberto & Frutos Baraja, A. & Fuertes, David & González, R. & Torres, Benjamin & Rodrigo, R. & Bennouna, Yasmine & Martín, L. & Guirado-Fuentes, Carmen. (2011). RIMA-AERONET network: Long-term monitoring of aerosol properties. Optica Pura y Aplicada. 44. 629-633.
This new type of satellites capable of measuring CO2 emissions to the nearest kilometer and pinpointing their origin.
One of these nanosatellites, PICASSO, carries
remote sensing technology developed which will be used to undertake
measurements in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere.
PICASSO stands for Pico-Satellite for Atmospheric and Space Science Observations and it’s the first CubeSat nanosatellite mission of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy.
Weighing only 3.5kg, it carries two measuring instruments for
atmospheric research: A Visible Spectral Imager
for Occultation and Nightglow (VISION) and a system to conduct plasma
measurements in the ionosphere, the Sweeping Langmuir Probe (SLP).
This project of analysis and collection of satellite data will be
carried out over 5 years. The aim is to obtain as much precise information as
possible on the quantification of gases in the air.
We will be able to know exactly the real CO2 emission by country, cities and the origin of gases (if it’s anthropogenic or natural).
Thanks to this initiative, more and more surveillance systems will be
sent into space over the next few years, which will help develop the market for
remote sensing solutions.
Cimel will be part of this development by bringing additional data thanks to its photometers and LiDARs to help calibrate and validate data from satellites.
MOSAiC expedition for climate – The world largest polar expedition
1 SEPTEMBER 2019 – 31 OCTOBER 2020
MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate)
expedition is the largest polar expedition in history, involving hundreds of
scientists from twenty countries for climate researches.
September 2019, the German research icebreaker Polarstern set sail from Tromsø,
Norway, to spend a year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in ice, to
learn more about global warming and climate change.
This expedition is led by atmospheric scientist Markus Rex, and co-led by Klaus Dethloff and Matthew Shupe, MOSAiC is spearheaded by Alfred Wegener Institute, Hekmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).
goal of the MOSAiC expedition is to require the closest look ever at the Arctic
as the epicentre of worldwide warming and to realize fundamental insights that
are key to raise understand global climate changes. The objective is to assess
the impact of climate change on the region and on the world as a whole and,
ultimately, to improve the performance of climate models in order to obtain
more realistic projections.
In this expedition, TROPOS uses one of our Photometer (CE318-T) on the Polarstern to assist the scientists by measuring the atmosphere and providing data to help understanding the climatic model of the Arctic. (Follow the TROPOS campaign here).
new and upcoming studies of the Poles are very important to understand our
world, allowing new openings to new applications, new opportunities and new
solutions for our environment.
All the results of
the analysis will produce a flood of measurement data, which will be extremely
valuable for the participating researchers and their peers around the globe, and
also for humanity as a whole.
The MOSAiC expedition will end on October 12th after 390 days in extreme conditions for the 600 scientists who took turns in this incredible expedition in the Arctic.
policy for MOSAiC data is based on a spirit of international cooperation, which
all expedition participants expressly agree to adhere to. All the data is saved
in the MOSAiC database wich is accessible by scientists of each country for detailed
analyses and sharing it to the different members, states participating in this incredible
and historical adventure.
If you want to follow the expedition, please check the MOSAiC website here or the Polastern Blog.
Research and atmosphere monitoring never stop, even during the COVID-19 pandemic
During the Covid-19 lockdown, the automatic CIMEL micro-pulse LiDARs continued profiling the atmosphere! The CIMEL micro-pulse LiDARs do not require supervised operation or human attendance, allowing recording continuous measurements during emergency situations like the Covid-19 lockdown.
Figure 1:Measurements by the CE376-GPN micro-pulse LiDAR along with the CE318-T photometer at LOA in Lille
Since the lockdown in France on 16 March 2020, the CIMEL micro-pulse LiDAR continues measurements, providing long time series of LiDAR data which will allow to study the impact of the lockdown on air quality.
On the examples above, two situations are presented during this period: low fine particle loading from urban background pollution and a desert dust intrusion event on 27 March 2020 (Fig.1, left) and low aerosol loading (fine particles from urban background pollution) on 5 April 2020 (Fig.1, right).
The daily mean AOD at 500 nm recorded by the CE318-T sun photometer was 0.35 for the dust event on 27 March 2020 and 0.1 for the “clean” conditions on 5 April 2020.
The desert dust intrusion event captured in CIMEL LiDAR data at Lille on 27 March 2020 is consistent with the Saharan dust intrusion forecasted by the NMMB/BSC-Dust model (See Fig.2 below), showing shallow dust layers in the 3 – 10 km altitude range (the dotted line on the dust forecast figure represents the location of Lille, France).
Figure 2:NMMB/BSC-Dust model
More recently, the CE376-GPNP micro-pulse LIDAR (Fig. 3) is operating at CIMEL in Paris, France, to provide more continuous data for the aerosols and clouds research community.
Figure 3:Measurements by the CE376-GPN micro-pulse LiDAR along with the CE318-T photometer at CIMEL in Paris
Earth Observation Satellites & Ground Monitoring Solutions – an essential synergy for Air Quality and Climate Change
April 30, 2020
Atmospheric monitoring and climate analysis are strategic missions in order to improve the understanding of air quality dynamics and climate change evolutions. This in turn is a pre-requisite for providing reliable information reports with real data measurements and to help decision makers and end-users to understand the impacts and causes of air pollution with atmospheric impacts and to act upon it.
Satellite data is key for atmospheric and climate monitoring by providing a continuous and global view of the Earth parameters. These data are essential inputs for forecast models by improving their accuracy.
By combining satellite observations with models of the atmosphere and measurements from ground-based instruments, like Cimel Remote Sensing Solutions, it is possible to measure accurately and forecast aerosols (particles suspended in the air), as well as quantify gases level (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide…) and several other kind of environmental parameters (planetary boundary layer, water leaving reflectance for Ocean color, solar radiation, water vapor, atmospheric concentration profiles PM2.5/PM10…).
Cimel solutions keep working continuously and automatically, to help the calibration of satellite instruments and validate their data. Furthermore, Cimel is always active to support the various research activities from the worldwide scientific community.
In this video, different aerosols are highlighted by color, including dust (orange), sea salt (blue), nitrates (pink) and carbonaceous (red), with brighter regions corresponding to higher aerosol amounts.