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A thermal infrared remote sensing retrieval method developed by Wen and Rose [1994], which retrieves particle sizes, optical depth, and total masses of silicate particles in the volcanic cloud, was applied to an April 07, 2001 sandstorm over northern China, using MODIS. Results indicate that the area of the dust cloud observed was 1.34 million km2, the mean particle radius of the dust was 1.44 μm, and the mean optical depth at 11 μm was 0.79. The mean burden of dust was approximately 4.8 tons/km2 and the main portion of the dust storm on April 07, 2001 contained 6.5 million tons of dust. The results are supported by both independent remote sensing data (TOMS) and in-situ data for a similar event in 1998. This paper demonstrates that Wen and Rose’s retrieval method could be successfully applied to past and future sandstorm events using IR channels of AVHRR, GOES or MODIS.

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Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union

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Geophysical Research Letters


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