VAP : Surface Spectral Albedo (SURFSPECALB)

Instrument Categories
Surface/Subsurface Properties

Example quicklook from the SURFSPECALB VAP.  The plot shows the estimated spectral albedo at SGP for the 10-m and 25-m towers on September 11, 2004.  On this day, the surface type for both towers is partial vegetation.

The Surface Spectral Albedo (SURFSPECALB) value-added product (VAP) creates a near-continuous best estimate of broadband and narrowband downwelling irradiance, upwelling irradiances, and surface albedo using the multifilter radiometers (MFRs) on the 10-m and 60-m towers and the multifilter rotating shadowband radiometers (MFRSRs) at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility. Using these best-estimate values and an algorithm developed by Dr. Eli Mlawer, the VAP identifies the dominant observed surface type for each day at each tower and then extrapolates the 6-channel narrowband MFR albedo values to high spectral resolution at one-minute temporal resolution. Quality control flags are included on all of the output irradiance and albedo values. The methodology for estimating the high spectral resolution albedo is described in McFarlane et al. 2011.

The new high-resolution surface albedo product enables users to run high spectral resolution radiative transfer models or to calculate broadband albedos across specific wavelength ranges of interest for running various broadband radiative transfer models. Additionally, broadband values integrated from the surfspecalb1mlawer product are used as inputs to the Radiatively Important Parameters Best Estimate (RIPBE) and Broadband Heating Rate Profiles (BBHRP) VAPs. An example surface spectral flux file and an IDL routine for integrating the spectral albedo are available upon request to aid users in integrating the albedos across a specific wavelength range for their own uses.

Data from January 2004 onwards at SGP have been processed and are available at the archive. Future data will be operationally processed on a monthly basis. Historical data from 2001 to 2003 at SGP will be processed once the sgpirt25mC1.b1 datastream has been reprocessed.

For more information, see the SURFSPECALB VAP report.

McFarlane, SA, K Gaustad, EJ Mlawer, CN Long, and J Delamere. 2011. "Development of a high spectral resolution surface albedo product for the ARM Southern Great Plains Central Facility." Atmospheric Measurement Technologies, accepted.

Output Products

Primary Measurements

The following measurements are those considered scientifically relevant.


 retired = Originating instrument has been retired at this location
North Slope Alaska
NSAC1 Browse DataCentral Facility, Barrow AK retired
Southern Great Plains
SGPC1 Browse DataCentral Facility, Lamont, OK


Krista Gaustad
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
(509) 375-5950

Laura Riihimaki
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
(509) 375-6406