Articles | Volume 5, issue 10
18 Oct 2005
18 Oct 2005

Distinction between clouds and ice/snow covered surfaces in the identification of cloud-free observations using SCIAMACHY PMDs

J. M. Krijger, I. Aben, and H. Schrijver

Abstract. SCIAMACHY on ENVISAT allows measurement of different trace gases including those most abundant in the troposphere (e.g. CO2, NO2, CH4, BrO, SO2). However, clouds in the observed scenes can severely hinder the observation of tropospheric gases. Several cloud detection algorithms have been developed for GOME on ERS-2 which can be applied to SCIAMACHY. The GOME cloud algorithms, however, suffer from the inadequacy of not being able to distinguish between clouds and ice/snow covered surfaces because GOME only covers the UV, VIS and part of the NIR wavelength range (240-790 nm). As a result these areas are always flagged as clouded, and therefore often not used. Here a method is presented which uses the SCIAMACHY measurements in the wavelength range between 450 nm and 1.6 µm to make a distinction between clouds and ice/snow covered surfaces. The algorithm is developed using collocated MODIS observations. The algorithm presented here is specifically developed to identify cloud-free SCIAMACHY observations. The SCIAMACHY Polarisation Measurement Devices (PMDs) are used for this purpose because they provide higher spatial resolution compared to the main spectrometer measurements.

Final-revised paper