Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Intercomparison of MODIS and VIIRS Fire Products in Khanty-Mansiysk Russia: Implication for Characterizing Gas Flaring from Space

Version 1 : Received: 5 May 2017 / Approved: 8 May 2017 / Online: 8 May 2017 (08:15:08 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Sharma, A.; Wang, J.; Lennartson, E.M. Intercomparison of MODIS and VIIRS Fire Products in Khanty-Mansiysk Russia: Implications for Characterizing Gas Flaring from Space. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 95. Sharma, A.; Wang, J.; Lennartson, E.M. Intercomparison of MODIS and VIIRS Fire Products in Khanty-Mansiysk Russia: Implications for Characterizing Gas Flaring from Space. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 95.

Journal reference: Atmosphere 2017, 8, 95
DOI: 10.3390/atmos8060095

Abstract

Gas flaring is commonly used by industrial plants for processing oil and natural gases in the atmosphere, and hence is an important anthropogenic source for various pollutants including CO2, CO, and aerosols. This study evaluates the feasibility of using satellite data to characterize gas flaring form space by focusing on the Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug in Russia, a region that is well known for its dominatingly gas flaring activities. Multiple satellite-based thermal anomaly data products at night are inter-compared and analyzed, including MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) Terra level-2 Thermal Anomalies product (MOD14), MODIS Aqua level-2 Thermal Anomalies product (MYD14), VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) Active Fires Applications Related Product (VAFP), and VIIRS level-2 data based Nightfire product (VNF). The analysis compares and contrasts the efficacy of these sensor products in detecting small, hot sources like flares on the ground in extremely cold environments such as Russia. We found that the VNF algorithm recently launched by NOAA has the unprecedented accuracy and efficiency in characterizing gas flares in the region owing primarily to the use of Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) bands. Reconciliation of VNF’s differences and similarities with other nighttime fire products is also conducted, indicating that MOD14/MYD14 and VAFP data are only effective in detecting those gas flaring pixels that are among the hottest in the region. Validation of VNF product of gas flaring location with Google Earth images are made. It is shown that that VNF’s estimates of gas flaring area (the area of gas flaming) agree well the counterparts from Google images with a linear correlation of 0.91, highlighting its potential use for routinely monitoring emissions of gas flaring from space.

Subject Areas

nighttime fires; gas flaring; MODIS; VIIRS; Khanty-Mansiysk Russia

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