Yingxi Shi

Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Atmospheric Sciences

First Advisor

Jianglong Zhang


The study of uncertainties in satellite aerosol products is essential to aerosol

data assimilation and modeling efforts. In this study, with the assistance of ground- based observations, uncertainties in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) collection 5 Deep Blue (DB), Multi-Angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) version 22 aerosol products, and the newly released collection 6 Dark Target over-ocean and DB products were evaluated. For each product, systematic biases were analyzed against observing conditions. Empirical correction procedures and data filtering steps were generated to develop noise and bias reduced DA-quality aerosol products for modeling related applications.

Special attention was also directed at the potential low bias in satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) climatology due to misclassification of aerosols as clouds over Asia. A heavy aerosol identifying system (HAIS) was developed through the combined use of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) products for detecting heavy smoke aerosol plumes. Upon extensive evaluation, HAIS was applied to one year of collocated OMI, CALIOP, and MODIS data to study the misclassifications related low bias. This study suggests that the misclassification of heavy smoke aerosol plumes by MODIS is rather infrequent and thus introduces an insignificant low bias to its AOD climatology. Still, this study confirms that misclassification happens in both active- and passive- based satellite aerosol products and needs to be studied for forecasting these events.