Articles | Volume 15, issue 14
Research article
30 Jul 2015
Research article |  | 30 Jul 2015

Using SEVIRI fire observations to drive smoke plumes in the CMAQ air quality model: a case study over Antalya in 2008

G. Baldassarre, L. Pozzoli, C. C. Schmidt, A. Unal, T. Kindap, W. P. Menzel, S. Whitburn, P.-F. Coheur, A. Kavgaci, and J. W. Kaiser

Abstract. Among the atmospheric emission sources, wildfires are episodic events characterized by large spatial and temporal variability. Therefore, accurate information on gaseous and aerosol emissions from fires for specific regions and seasons is critical for air quality forecasts. The Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) in geostationary orbit provides fire observations over Africa and the Mediterranean with a temporal resolution of 15 min. It thus resolves the complete fire life cycle and captures the fires' peak intensities, which is not possible in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) fire emission inventories like the Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS). We evaluate two different operational fire radiative power (FRP) products derived from SEVIRI, by studying a large forest fire in Antalya, Turkey, in July–August 2008. The EUMETSAT Land Surface Analysis Satellite Applications Facility (LSA SAF) has higher FRP values during the fire episode than the Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WF_ABBA). It is also in better agreement with the co-located, gridded MODIS FRP. Both products miss small fires that frequently occur in the region and are detected by MODIS. Emissions are derived from the FRP products. They are used along-side GFAS emissions in smoke plume simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. In comparisons with MODIS aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI), CO and NH3 observations show that including the diurnal variability of fire emissions improves the spatial distribution and peak concentrations of the simulated smoke plumes associated with this large fire. They also show a large discrepancy between the currently available operational FRP products, with the LSA SAF being the most appropriate.

Short summary
We investigate the quality of fire emission estimates derived from SEVIRI FRP for air quality simulations with the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model, by comparing them with available MODIS FRP-based ones. We demonstrate that geostationary observations allow for refining biomass burning emissions, which can subsequently be used in regional scale air quality models in order to improve the prediction of chemical composition of the atmosphere in presence of large fire episodes.
Final-revised paper