Southeastern Section–56th Annual Meeting (29–30 March 2007)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


SMITH, Amanda D.1, CONGIU, Sasha2, BANKER, Samantha2 and NEIL, Doreen O.3, (1)Department of Natural Sciences, University of Virginia's College at Wise, 1 College Avenue, Wise, VA 24293, (2)NASA DEVELOP Program, NASA Langley Research Center, MS 307, Hampton, VA 23681, (3)NASA Langley Research Center, MS 307, Hampton, VA 23681,

Wildfires are major contributors to poor air quality at many of the U.S. National Parks in the Western U.S. This study addressed the transport, frequency, and magnitude of aerosols and Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) migrating from Montana's Glacier National Park as a result of the 2003 forest fires. The effects of aerosols and PM2.5 crossing into Canada were a major consideration during this project. HYSPLIT was used to create trajectories for every fire that occurred during 2003. During this study, NASA Earth Observation data (Aqua and Terra) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) data was utilized to compare aerosol concentrations to in-situ ground data collected by the EPA's IMPROVE monitor. This involved extracting MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth data from the Aqua and Terra Satellite Missions. This data was then compared to Organic Carbon Biomass Extinction data collected by the ground monitor. The data show that thirteen of the twenty-five fires in 2003 crossed the Canadian Border. In addition, aerosol concentrations increased over the three-month period between July and September. This increase in aerosol concentration indicates that the burning of biomass in the Western U.S. is contributing to the particulate concentration within Glacier National Park. The methodology used here can be applied on a larger regional scale throughout the Western U.S. in order to compare multiple ground monitors to satellite data, in order to analyze regional trends in aerosol concentrations.