Statistical Properties of Horizontally Oriented Plates in Optically Thick Clouds From Satellite Observations Academic Article uri icon


  • Specular reflection from horizontally oriented plates (HOPs) has significant effects on lidar backscatter. The intensity of specular reflection from HOPs is high in warm mixed-phase clouds and low in cold ice clouds. The theoretical simulations of lidar backscatter and depolarization ratio are consistent with spaceborne measurements for optically thick mixed-phase and ice clouds if an equivalent percentage of HOPs of 0.08%-0.3% is assumed. Based on the joint probability density function of the attenuated backscatter and depolarization ratio observed by the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization aboard the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations platform, it is estimated that HOPs exist in approximately 60% of optically thick > 3) ice and mixed-phase cloud layers. The cloud-layer temperature is the primary factor affecting the distribution of HOPs. Specifically, HOPs exist in approximately 88% of optically thick ice and mixed-phase cloud layers warmer than -30C, in approximately 84% of ice and mixed-phase cloud layers between -30C and -45C, and in approximately 29% of cold ice cloud layers below -45C. 2012 IEEE.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhou, C., Yang, P., Dessler, A. E., & Liang, F.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Zhou, Chen||Yang, Ping||Dessler, Andrew E||Liang, Faming

publication date

  • September 2013