Uncertainties Associated with the Surface Texture of Ice Particles in Satellite-Based Retrieval of Cirrus Clouds: Part II—Effect of Particle Surface Roughness on Retrieved Cloud Optical Thickness and Effective Particle Size Academic Article uri icon


  • The simplified ray-tracing technique reported in Part I of this paper is employed to compute the single-scattering properties of hexagonal columns with maximum dimensions ranging from 2 to 3500 μm with a size-bin resolution of 2 μm at wave-lengths of 0.86 and 2.13 μm. For small ice crystals, the current treatment of surface roughness may not be adequate because the applicability of the principles of geometric optics breaks down for small roughness scale. However, for ice crystals smaller than 40 /xm, the aspect ratios of these particles are close to one, and the effect of surface roughness is quite small. In this paper, the diffraction is accounted for in the same way as in the case of smooth particles. It is essentially unfeasible to incorporate the effect of surface roughness into the numerical computation of the diffraction contribution. The scattering properties of individual ice crystals are then averaged over 18 particle size distributions whose effective particle radii (re) range from 5 to 90 fira. The single-scattering properties of ice clouds are strongly sensitive to surface roughness condition. Lookup tables that are built for the correlation between the bidirectional reflectances at wavelengths of 0.86 and 2.13 μm with different roughness conditions are used to retrieve ice cloud optical thickness and effective particle size over oceans. Pronounced differences are noticed for the retrieved cirrus cloud optical thickness and effective particle sizes in conjunction with different surface roughness conditions. The values of the retrieved cirrus cloud optical thickness in the case of the rough surface are generally smaller than their counterparts associated with smooth surface conditions. The effect of surface roughness on the retrieved effective particle radii is not pronounced for slight and moderate roughness conditions. However, when the surfaces of ice crystals are substantially rough, the retrieved effective radii associated with roughened particles are larger and smaller than their smooth surface counterparts for large (re > 50 μm) and small (re < 35 μm) ice crystals, respectively, whereas the effect of surface roughness on the retrieved effective radii shows a nonmonotonic feature for moderate particle sizes (35 μm < re < 50 μm). In general, the dominant effect of surface roughness on cloud property retrievals is to decrease the retrieved optical thickness and to increase the retrieved effective particle size in comparison with their counterparts in the case of smooth ice particles. © 2008 IEEE.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, P., Hong, G., Kattawar, G. W., Minnis, P., & Hu, Y.

citation count

  • 62

publication date

  • July 2008