Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 173, Issue 9, pp 3103–3110 | Cite as

Satellite Observations of Plume-like Streaks in a Cloud Field in Canada

  • Lewis GrassoEmail author
  • Daniel T. Lindsey
  • Curtis J. Seaman
  • Brian Stocks
  • Robert M. Rabin


On the afternoon of 28 October 2013, plume-like streaks were detected by geostationary and polar orbiting satellites over eastern Ontario, Canada. These streaks were characterized by enhanced reflectivity in the visible bands and warmer brightness temperatures at 3.9 µm. These streaks were part of a low-level liquid water cloud layer. Due to the similarity of the streaks to plume-like features in marine stratocumulus caused by smoke from the stacks of ships, so-called ship tracks, a local source of emitted aerosols was suspected and subsequently identified as the burning of logging residue. This event provides further support for the ability of locally enhanced aerosol loading to alter microphysical characteristics of clouds. Ship tracks, pollution plumes from industrial burning, and pyro-cumulus are known examples of this type of interaction. In addition, the plume-like streaks could be used indirectly to identify the location of the source of the emitted particles.


NPP-VIIRS GOES-13 Ship tracks Pollution plumes Pyro-cumulus Microphysics 



This research is primarily funded by NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) GOES-R Program Office. We would also like to extend our thanks to Rene Servranckx (Environment Canada) and Mike Fromm (Naval Research Laboratory) for their assistance. Further thanks are extended to Natalie Belanger, Northeast Regional GIS Data Technician, Sudbury and Mike Jackson, Northeast Regional Fire Response Specialist, Sudbury. The views, opinions, and findings in this report are those of the authors, and should not be construed as an official NOAA and or US Government position, policy, or decision.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lewis Grasso
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel T. Lindsey
    • 2
  • Curtis J. Seaman
    • 1
  • Brian Stocks
    • 3
  • Robert M. Rabin
    • 4
  1. 1.Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), CIRA-1375Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch, CIRAColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.B.J. Stocks Wildfire Investigations LtdSault Ste. MarieCanada
  4. 4.NOAA/National Severe Storms LabNormanUSA

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