Accurate mapping of air quality and its seasonal and annual changes is important for the evaluation of the current air dispersion modeling, air pollution control regulations, and other environmental climate changes. Traditionally, two general approaches to mapping air pollution can be identified: spatial interpolation and air dispersion modeling.
The former approaches estimate the value of pollution concentration at unsampled locations in an area of interest by interpolating the measurements from the sampled stations. Most of the air quality data that currently used are interpolated from the data collected from a limited number of measuring stations located mainly in cities or estimated by the numerical air dispersion models. Air pollutants can be measured from ground base stations with many different types of instruments. But these instruments are quite expensive and limited by the number of air pollutant station in each area. The limited number of the air pollutant stations and improper distributed not allowed a proper mapping of the air pollutants. Ground instruments are impractical if measurements are to be made over large areas or for continuous monitoring. So, they cannot provide a detail spatial distribution of the air pollutant over large cities. Satellites can be the only data source in rural and remote areas where no ground-based measurements are taken. A remote sensing technique was widely used for environment pollutant application such as air pollution. Some studies showed that satellite data could be useful for revealing climatic and environmental implications of global air pollution. Satellite data can aid in the detection, tracking, and understanding of pollutant transport by providing observations over large spatial domains and at varying altitudes. Satellite measurements clearly have the advantage of being the only set of measurements that provide a wide coverage. Landsat, SPOT, MODIS image data present a wide applicability for air pollution studies. Several studies have shown the possible relationships between satellite data and air pollution.
Last date updated on June, 2014