Spatio-temporal analysis of MODIS AOD over western part of Iran

S. Namdari*, K. K. Valizade, A. A. Rasuly, B. Sari Sarraf

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Atmospheric aerosols affect public health, air quality, the earth’s energy balance, and the hydrological cycle. Knowledge of the spatio-temporal distribution of aerosol characteristics is critical for quantification of these impacts. In recent years, the western parts of Iran have been affected by dust storms coming from upwind neighboring countries. In this study, monthly mean aerosol optical depths (AODs) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are used to investigate the spatio-temporal distribution of dust storms in these affected areas for the period between 2000 and 2014. Support for using MODIS monthly mean AOD as a proxy for dust influence from neighboring upwind regions comes from its strong correlation with AOD from an upwind AERONET station in Kuwait University. The iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique (ISODATA) was used to classify AOD images of the study area into three regions. Each region then was analyzed based on the intra-annual and inter-annual AOD changes. In most years, July exhibited relatively the highest means AOD. The results reveal two periods with different monthly AOD value trends in all regions, with the first from 2000 to 2007 and the second from 2008 to 2014. As compared to the period from 2000 to 2011, there is a decreasing trend in mean AOD values from 2012 to 2014 that likely is linked to meteorological variability and suggests that there may be a reduction in dust events impacting western Iran. Within the study region, the southwestern part near Khoozestan exhibited the greatest vulnerability to dust storms between 2000 and 2014 based on monthly mean AOD standard deviations. Differences in the spatio-temporal AOD patterns in the three regions are discussed and likely sensitive to transport patterns, topography, and meteorology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number191
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


    • MODIS
    • visibility
    • aerosol optical depth
    • monthly mean AOD
    • HYSPLIT model


    Dive into the research topics of 'Spatio-temporal analysis of MODIS AOD over western part of Iran'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this