Solar radiation enters the Earth's atmosphere with a portion being scattered by clouds and aerosols.

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at the NASA Langley Research Center

New MISR Plume Data

New MISR Plume Data

Plume Project
Monday, April 23, 2012

The NASA Langley Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) project announce the release of an updated interface to the "MISR Plume Height Climatology Project" web site and the release of the latest collection of smoke plume and volcanic plume data.


The changes include:

  • The simple Project Area list on the main page has been converted into a collapsible list indexed by geographic area. Select a Top Level Project Area to expand the list and see individual Secondary Level Projects.

  • These new Projects Areas have been added to the website:

    • North America, 2001
    • North America, 2003
    • North America, 2008
    • South America, Amazon, Aug-Sept, 2006
    • South America, Amazon, Aug-Sept, 2007
    • South America, Bolivia-Paraguay, Aug-Sept, 2006
    • South America, Bolivia-Paraguay, Aug-Sept, 2007
    • Southeast Asia, Feb-June, 2006
    • Southeast Asia, Feb-June, 2007
    • Southeast Asia, Feb-June, 2008
    • Southeast Asia, Feb-June, 2009
    • Grimsvotn, 2011 (another Iceland volcano)
  • Eight volcanic plumes from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano on Iceland have been added to the project, and the original eight have been redigitized. Some of the plume images have been annotated to reduce confusion regarding identification of ash vs. cloud.

  • A new version of MINX (V2.0), due to be released to the public by June, 2012, was used to digitize the plumes in the four South America project areas. The most important change from earlier versions of MINX is the addition of a blue-band height retrieval. The MISR/MINX conventional red-band retrieval of height for optically thin smoke over relatively bright terrain is frequently unsuccessful and may under-estimate smoke height. Height retrievals for many plumes in the South America project areas used the blue-band, resulting in a significant increase in the number of successful plumes and the number of retrieved points per plume.

  • The MINX V2.0 produces raw data files that use a more elaborate naming standard as well as a different file format than MINX V1.2 and earlier (e.g. Plumes_O22781-B76-P1.txt .vs. Plumes_O35550-B101-SPWR1.txt). The four links at the bottom of the main page have been updated to describe these changes. Refer to link "Product Description" for a description of filename changes. Refer to link "Product Labeling, Terms Used, and File Formats" for a description of file format changes.


The website can be accessed at

The "MISR Plume Height Climatology Project" web site is a publicly-available repository for wildfire and volcanic plume data acquired using the MISR and MODIS instruments on Terra, and processed to produce an aerosol injection height climatology supporting wildfire, climate change and air quality studies.