Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 56, Issue 8, pp 1422–1433 | Cite as

A method to estimate concentrations of surface-level particulate matter using satellite-based aerosol optical thickness

  • JinHua Tao
  • MeiGen Zhang
  • LiangFu Chen
  • ZiFeng Wang
  • Lin Su
  • Cui Ge
  • Xiao Han
  • MingMin Zou
Research Paper


We propose a new method to estimate surface-level particulate matter (PM) concentrations by using satellite-retrieved Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT). This method considers the distribution and variation of Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) height and relative humidity (RH) at the regional scale. The method estimates surface-level particulate matter concentrations using the data simulated by an atmospheric boundary layer model RAMS and satellite-retrieved AOT. By incorporation MODIS AOT, PBL height and RH simulated by RAMS, this method is applied to estimate the surface-level PM2.5 concentrations in North China region. The result is evaluated by using 16 ground-based observations deployed in the research region, and the result shows a good agreement between estimated PM2.5 concentrations and observations, and the coefficient of determination R 2 is 0.61 between the estimated PM2.5 concentrations and the observations. In addition, surface-level PM2.5 concentrations are also estimated by using MODIS AOT, ground-based LIDAR observations and RH measurements. A comparison between the two estimated PM2.5 concentrations shows that the new method proposed in this paper is better than the traditional method. The coefficient of determination R 2 is improved from 0.32 to 0.62.


planetary boundary layer model satellite remote sensing surface-level particulate matter aerosol optical thickness 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • JinHua Tao
    • 1
    • 2
  • MeiGen Zhang
    • 1
  • LiangFu Chen
    • 2
  • ZiFeng Wang
    • 2
  • Lin Su
    • 2
  • Cui Ge
    • 1
  • Xiao Han
    • 1
  • MingMin Zou
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry (LAPC), Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing ScienceJointly Sponsored by Institute of Remote Sensing Applications of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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