detection of particulate air pollution plumes from major point sources using ERTS-1 imagery

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  • 1 College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wis. 53201
  • | 2 Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wis. 53201
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The Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS-1) launched by NASA in July 1972 has been providing thousands of high resolution multi-spectral images of great interest to geographers, cartographers, hydrologists, agriculturists, etc. The meteorological content of these observations, however, has only been slightly realized. In particular, it has been found possible to detect the long-range (over 50-km) transport of suspected particulate plumes from the Chicago-Gary steel mill complex over Lake Michigan. The observed plumes are readily related to known steel mills, a cement plant, refineries, and fossil- fuel power plants. This has important ramifications when discussing the inter-regional transport of atmospheric pollutants, in this case from the Chicago Interstate to the Southeast Wisconsin Air Quality Control Region. Analysis reveals that the Multispectral Scanner Band 5 (0.6–0.7 μm) provides the best overall contrast between the smoke and the underlying water surface.

1 This paper is Report No. 10, Air Pollution Analysis Laboratory, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

The Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS-1) launched by NASA in July 1972 has been providing thousands of high resolution multi-spectral images of great interest to geographers, cartographers, hydrologists, agriculturists, etc. The meteorological content of these observations, however, has only been slightly realized. In particular, it has been found possible to detect the long-range (over 50-km) transport of suspected particulate plumes from the Chicago-Gary steel mill complex over Lake Michigan. The observed plumes are readily related to known steel mills, a cement plant, refineries, and fossil- fuel power plants. This has important ramifications when discussing the inter-regional transport of atmospheric pollutants, in this case from the Chicago Interstate to the Southeast Wisconsin Air Quality Control Region. Analysis reveals that the Multispectral Scanner Band 5 (0.6–0.7 μm) provides the best overall contrast between the smoke and the underlying water surface.

1 This paper is Report No. 10, Air Pollution Analysis Laboratory, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

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