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Spectral invariant behavior of zenith radiance around cloud edges observed by ARM SWS

By A. Marshak, Y. Knyazikhin, J. C. Chiu and W. J. Wiscombe


The ARM Shortwave Spectrometer (SWS) measures zenith radiance at 418 wavelengths between 350 and 2170 nm. Because of its 1-sec sampling resolution, the SWS provides a unique capability to study the transition zone between cloudy and clear sky areas. A spectral invariant behavior is found between ratios of zenith radiance spectra during the transition from cloudy to cloud-free. This behavior suggests that the spectral signature of the transition zone is a linear mixture between the two extremes (definitely cloudy and definitely clear). The weighting function of the linear mixture is a wavelength-independent characteristic of the transition zone. It is shown that the transition zone spectrum is fully determined by this function and zenith radiance spectra of clear and cloudy regions. An important result of these discoveries is that high temporal resolution radiance measurements in the clear-to-cloud transition zone can be well approximated by lower temporal resolution measurements plus linear interpolation

Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:centaur.reading.ac.uk:16763

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