Developing new MODIS RGB Composites for Dust Detection

As a follow-up to Brian’s great post about the West Texas dust storm and MODIS observations earlier this week, I thought I’d share an example of a new RGB composite product being developed for MODIS applications at SPoRT.  SPoRT is using various recipes from applications of EUMETSAT’s Meteosat-9/SEVIRI data to develop new multispectral composites from MODIS.  One example is specially tailored for dust detection and has been used to monitor dust storms off of the Sahara within the Meteosat-9 coverage for North Africa.  In this example below, the specific band selection and color assignment draws out the appearance of dust by assigning it a light pink to hot pink color, and the plumes of lofted dust stand out in sharper contrast than they might otherwise appear in a “true color” MODIS composite in Brian’s example.  Note, however, that these composites do have relative strengths and weaknesses — the “true color” composite picks up more detail with respect to the large number of wildfires occurring in Texas, while the dust composite misses some of the fire plume details while focusing instead on the dust storm.  SPoRT will continue to evaluate this (and other) RGB products in-house but hopes to transition some for operational use in the coming year.  Stay tuned!

An example of a MODIS RGB-Dust product zoomed into the Oklahoma panhandle and West Texas areas, comparable to the previous post.  The image shows the dust plume locations in shades of pink. Note that wildfire smoke is still evident, but is not as prominent as in the previous true color example.

3 thoughts on “Developing new MODIS RGB Composites for Dust Detection

  1. Nice follow-up post Andrew. The different reflectance characteristics of dust versus smoke are apparent in the natural color and dust RGB products which allow forecasters to differentiate between the two.

  2. Andrew- The dust product looks great! Cant wait. This imagery would work great with the existing suite of products.

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