November 1, 2012

Moderate AQI in the Plains and Mississippi Valley; Smoke in New Mexico

Nothing really significant was observed today in terms of Air Quality. Moderate PM2.5 concentrations were detected in the Great Plains, Mississippi Valley regions and California throughout the day (top left). HMS reported light, remnant smoke moving eastward through north/central New Mexico this morning and early afternoon per GOES imagery due to the numerous fires that were observed yesterday across central Arizona and southern New Mexico.

As a special feature, Earth Observatory has posted an image acquired last week by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite where winds blowing a plume of dust from the Copper River delta out over the Gulf of Alaska. When glaciers grind against underlying bedrock, they produce a silty powder with grains finer than sand. Geologists call it "glacial flour" or "rock flour." This iron- and feldspar-rich substance often finds its ways into rivers and lakes, coloring the water brown, grey, or aqua. When river or lake levels are low, the flour accumulates on drying riverbanks and deltas, leaving raw material for winds to lift into the air and create plumes of dust.

Finally an interesting video provided by Sonoma Technology Inc. about the remote sensing background as well as the different technology and techniques used to produce the products, data, images, maps that we usually report in our blog.

Posted by Daniel Orozco at November 1, 2012 6:04 PM
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