SPARTAN: a global network to evaluate and enhance satellite-based estimates of ground-level particulate matter for global health applications

G. Snider, C. L. Weagle, R. V. Martin, A. van Donkelaar, K. Conrad, D. Cunningham, C. Gordon, M. Zwicker, C. Akoshile, P. Artaxo, N. X. Anh, J. Brook (+23 others)
2015 Atmospheric Measurement Techniques  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Ground-based observations have insufficient spatial coverage to assess long-term human exposure to fine particulate matter (PM<sub>2.5</sub>) at the global scale. Satellite remote sensing offers a promising approach to provide information on both short- and long-term exposure to PM<sub>2.5</sub> at local-to-global scales, but there are limitations and outstanding questions about the accuracy and precision with which ground-level aerosol mass concentrations can be
more » ... entrations can be inferred from satellite remote sensing alone. A key source of uncertainty is the global distribution of the relationship between annual average PM<sub>2.5</sub> and discontinuous satellite observations of columnar aerosol optical depth (AOD). We have initiated a global network of ground-level monitoring stations designed to evaluate and enhance satellite remote sensing estimates for application in health-effects research and risk assessment. This Surface PARTiculate mAtter Network (SPARTAN) includes a global federation of ground-level monitors of hourly PM<sub>2.5</sub> situated primarily in highly populated regions and collocated with existing ground-based sun photometers that measure AOD. The instruments, a three-wavelength nephelometer and impaction filter sampler for both PM<sub>2.5</sub> and PM<sub>10</sub>, are highly autonomous. Hourly PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations are inferred from the combination of weighed filters and nephelometer data. Data from existing networks were used to develop and evaluate network sampling characteristics. SPARTAN filters are analyzed for mass, black carbon, water-soluble ions, and metals. These measurements provide, in a variety of regions around the world, the key data required to evaluate and enhance satellite-based PM<sub>2.5</sub> estimates used for assessing the health effects of aerosols. Mean PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations across sites vary by more than 1 order of magnitude. Our initial measurements indicate that the ratio of AOD to ground-level PM<sub>2.5</sub> is driven temporally and spatially by the vertical profile in aerosol scattering. Spatially this ratio is also strongly influenced by the mass scattering efficiency.</p>
doi:10.5194/amt-8-505-2015 fatcat:v2k3y3quhfbtvet3q6vdnhbmui