Comparison of bottom-up and satellite-based emission estimates in a prescribed burn: Evaluation with airborne smoke measurements
Here, emissions from a prescribed burn are estimated using both ground-based information and satellite observations. The burn was conducted on 17 November 2009 near Santa Barbara, California over 80 ha of land covered with chaparral. An aircraft tracked the smoke plume and measured CO2 and light scattering along with meteorological parameters during the burn (Akagi et al., 2011). We simulated the burn using the Daysmoke plume rise and dispersion model (Achtemeier et al., 2011). This model is specifically designed to predict smoke concentrations downwind of prescribed burns. Wind fields generated by a weather prediction model (WRF) were adjusted locally to match the aircraft measurements of wind speed and direction as much as possible. Concentrations of downwind smoke predicted by using both bottom-up and satellite-based emission estimates are compared to corresponding aircraft measurements. The Daysmoke model along with wind adjustments reduces several of the uncertainties inherent to dispersion modeling of forest fire plumes. This allows for a more reliable investigation of the uncertainties in the magnitudes and timings of emissions. The levels of these uncertainties are evaluated and compared for the bottom-up and satellite-based emission estimates.