The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument aboard Terra acquires imagery at 275-m resolution at
nine angles ranging from 0° to 70° off-nadir. This multi-angle capability facilitates the stereoscopic retrieval of smoke
heights associated with near-source plumes. A new visualization and analysis program called MISR INteractive eXplorer
(MINX) takes advantage of wind-direction information inherent in smoke plumes from active fires to determine plume
heights and wind speeds at higher resolution and with greater accuracy than provided by the standard, operational MISR
product. Among the software tool's many features are several designed for in-depth study of plumes, including
animations of the nine MISR camera images that provide a visual 3-D perspective, and interactive digitization of plumes
in order to automatically retrieve heights and winds. Aerosol properties from MISR, and fire power based on infrared
brightness temperatures from MODIS (also on Terra) are archived along with the retrieved height and wind data. MINX
retrievals have sufficient spatial detail to provide valuable input to studies of plume dynamics as well as large-scale
climatological studies. Current efforts are focusing on fires in North America, but application to other areas of the world
is also envisioned. Case study examples will be presented to illustrate MINX capabilities.
The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) is in its ninth year of operation aboard NASA's Terra satellite.
MISR acquires imagery at nine view angles between 70.5° forward and backward of nadir. Stereoscopic image matching
of red band data at 275-m horizontal spatial resolution provides measurements of aerosol plume heights in the vicinity
and downwind of wildfires. We are supplementing MISR's standard stereo product with more detailed, higher vertical
spatial resolution stereo retrievals over individual smoke plumes, using the MISR INteractive eXplorer (MINX) analysis
tool. To limit the amount of data that must be processed, MODIS (Moderate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)
thermal anomaly data are used to identify fire locations. Data over North America are being analyzed to generate a
climatology of smoke injection heights and to derive a general parameterization for the injection heights that can be used
within non-plume-resolving chemical transport models. In 2002, we find that up to about 30% of fire plumes over North
America reached the free troposphere. Sufficiently buoyant plumes tend to become trapped near stratified stable layers
within the atmospheric vertical profile, supporting a result first obtained on a more limited set of MISR data . Data
from other years are being processed to further establish the robustness of these conclusions.