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Microtops Inverse software package

Mount Etna plume Microtops II sunphotometer in use on Mt. Etna
Photographs courtesy of Dr. V. Tsanev

Plume aerosol optical thickness software

Microtops II Sunphotometers are hand held instruments that allow the measurement of aerosol optical thickness through the use of five wavelength bands. More information on the Facility's Microtops can be found here. The Microtops Inverse software package allows the retrieval of columnar optical thickness of aerosols concentrated in plumes (resulting from volcanoes, fires or industrial plants) from Microtops Sunphotometer data. To investigate the aerosol properties of the plume, it is necessary to make measurements observing the Sun through both the plume and the background atmosphere (clear from plume). The optical thickness of the plume can then be obtained by subtracting the optical thickness of the background atmosphere from the total through-plume optical thickness.

This method was recently used to study the volcanic plumes resulting from an eruption of Mount Etna in 2006 and to examine the atmospheric consequences of the Buncefield Oil Depot fire in December 2005. More information on the use of FSF Microtops II Sunphotometers in these projects can be found here.

The software package (hosted by the FSF but developed by Dr V.I. Tsanev and Dr T.A. Mather) was originally modified from FORTRAN77 codes CSIGT, PREPRCES and RADINV. These three programs were modified to include calculations of surface and volume distributions, sets of effective radii and an improved structure to the input and output files. The package was created using FORTRAN95 and Basic and the executables are DOS programmes. The FSF is pleased to host this software, but is unable to provide support to users. All enquiries for support should be addressed to the software author Dr Vitchko Tsanev.

If you make use of the software or associated manual in your research, please acknowledge this in publications by referencing the software as:

Tsanev, V.I. and Mather, T.A., 2007. Microtops Inverse: Software package for retrieving aerosol columnar size distributions using Microtops II data. Available from http://www.fsf.nerc.ac.uk.

Software downloads

The software manual (PDF) and executables (including some example data files) can be downloaded below. A number of papers, referenced in the manual, are also available to download as PDF files for further background information.

Microtops Inverse Manual
Software manual .PDF File
Microtops Inverse Software
DOS executables .zip File
References for download
Jorge and Ogren, 1996 .PDF File
King et al., 1978 .PDF File
King, 1982 .PDF File
Mather et al., 2004 .PDF File
Mather et al., 2007 .PDF File
Mather et al., 2007 - Appendix .PDF File
Morys et al., 2001 .PDF File

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