Determining the Relationship between UVAI and AOD Correlation, MCE, and FRP in the September 2020 Fires


  • Stephanie Song Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Intern
  • Dr. Yunyao Li Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Mentor



In 2020, the Western Coast of the United States experienced a series of wildfires, which released great quantities of aerosols into the atmosphere. The Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) is a value that represents how much radiation aerosols block. The VIIRS AOD550 measures AOD on the visible spectrum and the NASA TROPOMAER UVAI measures AOD on the UV spectrum, both of which gathered data from the 2020 wildfire period. The Fire Radiative Power (FRP) and Modified Combustion Efficiency (MCE) show the strength of the fire in certain areas. This particular case analyzes the Washington Fires from 9/5/20 - 9/17/20 to see if there was a relationship between AOD, UVAI, MCE, and FRP values. To do this, I graphed UVAI and AOD correlation using the box method, where I restricted the data points to a certain latitude-longitude range, and the distance method, where I only included the data when the distance from the fire was less than 0.2 degrees. Using data from the VIIRS AOD500, I also separated the data into all aerosol types and only smoke to see how aerosol composition affected correlation. In a time series, I graphed the correlation using each method, average MCE, and total FRP for each day to see if there was a relationship between the values. Although the data did not show an obvious relationship between the values, correlation tended to be lower when the MCE values dropped.





College of Science: Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic & Earth Sciences