Worldview Image of the Week

High Aerosol Index from Smoky Canadian Fires

Base image acquired Sep 4, 2023, by the VIIRS instrument aboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite and overlaid with Aerosol Index values from the OMPS instrument.

Animation spanning August 1 to September 6, 2023, showing high Aerosol Index values due to continued wildfires in Canada. As of August 30, 2023, 6,053 fires have occurred across the country that have burned 15,239,780 hectares (approximately 37,658,317 acres) so far this year. The number of fires is 119% above the 10-year Canadian average and the amount of burned area is 581% of normal, according to figures from Natural Resources Canada.

The base true-color corrected reflectance images were acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite. Overlaid on the base images is the Aerosol Index layer from the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument. This layer indicates the presence of ultraviolet (UV)-absorbing particles in the atmosphere (aerosols) such as soot from burning fires and desert dust; it is related to both the thickness of the aerosol layer located in the atmosphere and to the height of the layer.

The Aerosol Index is a unitless value that ranges from < 0 to >= 5, where 5 (indicated by areas of dark red) indicates heavy concentrations of aerosols that could reduce visibility or impact human health, such as dust storms or smoke in the lower troposphere (1-3 km above Earth's surface) from biomass burning. Press play in the embedded Worldview above to view the animation, or click on the icon in the upper right corner to fully interact with the animation in Worldview.

Visit Worldview to visualize near real-time imagery from NASA's EOSDIS; find more in ourWorldview weekly image archive.

Last Updated