ZIBBEE Trip Report

Field Campaign Summary

Zambian International Biomass Burning Emissions Experiment (ZIBBEE)

a collaboration with

Meteorological Dept. of Zambia, USFS and NASA

The ZIBBEE experiment was organized in cooperation with the US forest Service's Fire Chemistry Lab, the Zambian Meteorology Department and NASA's AERONET and EOS IDS program with the primary objectives to quantify the aerosol and trace gas fluxes from the Miambo woodlands of southern Africa. Embedded within this study are objectives to quantify the consumption of biomass (carbon) from biomass burning, validation of aerosol retrievals from various satellite sensors, and direct radiative forcing by biomass burning aerosols.

Principle Investigation Contacts:

Field Participants:

Non Field Participants (not comprehensive)


Experimental Plan:

The experimental plan is detailed in Appendix 1 however the main focus was to measure the carbon flux from the massive amount of burning taking place to the east of the Western Province of Zambia, estimate direct radiative forcing due to smoke from biomass burning, and validate satellite aerosol retrievals. The measurement approach established a 400 km transect of ground based sun photometers (Figure 1) orthogonal to the prevailing easterlies then fly an in situ aerosol and trace gas sampling system in the transect to establish a 2-D measurement plain during a variety of meteorological and burning conditions.

Map of Zambia including Zambezi, Kaloma, Mongu, Senanga, and Sesheke

Figure 1. The Zibbee transect followed the Zambezi River from Zambezi to Sesheke.

The ground-based measurement network will remain in operation for the duration of the burning season. Appropriate satellite, meteorological and ancillary ground based data were collected. Four cimel automatic sun-sky scanning spectral radiometers were maintained at Sesheke, Senanga, Mongu and Zambezi. All sites were calibrated with two additional reference instruments (Figure 2).

Picture of a ground-based sun photometer
Figure 2. One of four automatic ground based sun photometers established in the Zambezi transect.

Solar flux measurements were established at Mongu, Zambezi, and Senanga. Total column ozone and AOT from hand-held microtops instruments were established at Mongu, temporary, and mobile sites (Figure 3).

Picture of a Microtops handheld sun photometer
Figure 3. Microtops handheld sun photometers augmented data collection between primary sites during overflights, from the aircraft and as a backup at primary sites.

A micropulse lidar was deployed at Mongu for continuous monitoring of the aerosol profile. Low volume particulate mass samples were collected on Teflon filters with a six hour replacement schedule. An additional site for automatic cimel measurrements and micotops was established midway between Senanga and Mongu on flight days (Figure 4).

View of the Dambo measurement site
Figure 4. The Dambo measurement site (Letoya) between Mongu and Senanga.

Automatic weather stations were established the previous year at Senanga, Mongu and Zambezi by the USFS. An 20 site network of 2-band hand-held sun photometers was established at and between the four principle sites. Measurements will be made half hourly for two months (Sept.-Oct.) and will help to provide spatial continuity between the primary stations (Figure 5).

Picture of a handheld sun photometer

Figure 5. Hand-held Sun Photometer

A micropulse lidar (MPL) was deployed at Mongu for continuous monitoring of the aerosol profile (Figure 6).

Picture of the Micropulse LIDAR on a platform at the Mongu Meteorological office
Figure 6. A micropulse lidar was installed on a tower at the Mongu Meteorological office. Continuous measurements of aerosol profiles were collected during the experiment.

An airborne instrument package which included in situ measurements of ozone, aerosol filter samples, canister samples, WS, WD, relative humidity, CO, CO2, backscatter and location information was loaded onto a cessna 206. Due to scheduling conflicts with big game hunters, planes from several different companies provided intermittent flight support during the experiment. This was further complicated by delayed surface transport of the avgas to Mongu from Lusaka.
As of 7-9-97 four aircraft flights had been completed in the southern transect between Sesheke, Senanga, and Mongu. Beginning 9-9-97, the full transect will be flown. High and low flights were made across the southern transects and profiles made over the primary sites.

Dr. Jay Herman developed a special two day aerosol index composite over Southern Africa which was available for the duration of the project thru ftp://jwocky.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/tmp/s_africa/composite. Daily data were also archived.

Dr. Sundar Christopher will use AVHRR imagery to estimate radiative forcing and Ms. Jackie Kendall will estimate fire numbers. Dr. Eric Vermote will estimate radiative properties of aerosols, aerosol optical depths and cloud droplet size distributions from AVHRR data. Data will be intered where applicable into a GIS data base to facilitate spatial and temporal analysis.

Table 1. Lists the type, location and duration of data collected during the experiment, Aug. 20 to Sept. 24.

Location Waypoint Data Type Duration Comment
Mongu S 15° 15.266'
E 023° 09.028'
Cimel-AOT, size dist June-Oct Recalibrate Aug. 25
Mongu as above AOT Aug. 31 to Sept. 26, hourly Microtops
Mongu as above AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Mongu as above Ozone Microtops Aug. 26-Sept. 26  
Mongu as above PAR Sept.3-12 and
Sept. 15-present
(and continuing)
DCP Automatic Satellite Tansmission 1 min. sampling
Mongu as above Spectral Hemispher   Optronics Data
Mongu as above Eppley Aug. 22-Sept. 1
Sept. 4 and 5
Eppley PSP
2-4 min. sampling
Mongu as above Microtops    
Mongu as above Aerosol profile Aug. 22- Sept. 17 Lidar Data-MPL
Mongu as above Scanning Lidar Aug. 29-30; Sept 2,4 MPL
Mongu as above MET data Year Around, hourly Automatic and observer
Mongu as above Low Vol. Filter Sept. 3 to Sept 13 6 hr replacement
Zambezi S 13° 32.000'
E 023° 06.000'
AOT, size dist Aug. 25 to Sept. 26 Cimel
Zambezi as above Met data Year Around, hourly Automatic and observer
Zambezi as above Eppley Aug. 27-? Logged w/ Auto Met Station
Zambezi as above AOT, 2-Band 2-Band Homemade handheld
Senanga S 16° 06.679'
E 023° 17.873'
AOT, size dist Aug. 25 to Sept. 26 Cimel
Senanga as above PAR    
Senanga as above Eppley Aug. 24-26
Aug. 28-30
Sept. 5-14
Eppley PSP
3-5 min. sampling
Senanga as above AOT, 2-Band 2-Band Homemade handheld
Sesheke S 17° 28.618'
E 024° 18.070'
AOT, size dist Aug. 25 to Sept. 26 Cimel
Sesheke as above AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Airborne   AOT, Microtops   thru windshield
Airborne Package:   backscatter   Neph
Chitoke S 13° 50.44'
E 023° 12.573'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Kalong S 16° 14.735'
E 023° 14.255'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Lotoya S 15° 40.617'
E 023° 18.002'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Luku8S S 14° 23.619'
E 023° 14.907'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Lukulu S 14° 23.111'
E 023° 14.617'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Mob S 14° 40.036'
E 022° 41.356'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Mongu S 15° 15.266'
E 023° 09.028'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Moombo S 15° 04.115'
E 023° 10.045'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Nachgg S 14° 52.671'
E 023° 04.456'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Nachgi S 14° 52.680'
E 023° 18.226'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Namush S 15° 34.866'
E 023° 18.226'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Senanc S 16° 06.679'
E 023° 17.873'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Senann S 16° 04.678'
E 023° 18.702'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Senans S 16° 08.223'
E 023° 17.253'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Seshek S 17° 28.618'
E 024° 18.070'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Silumb S 16° 55.431'
E 023° 52.332'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Sioma S 16° 35.932'
E 023° 30.062'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Sivand S 15° 34.957'
E 023° 17.900
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld
Zambez S 13° 32.000'
E 023° 06.000'
AOT, 2-Band   Homemade handheld

Meteorology and burning conditions--Typically August, Sept. and Oct are the periods of most intensive burning in this region. August to Sept. 10 appeared fairly typical but two unseasonable rain events removed the aerosol and stopped extensive burning for approximately 1 week. The subsequent buring remained fairly sparse resulting is low aerosol loading as of Sept. 24.

August 20 to 30: Entirely Cloud free, smoke variable from light to very heavy aerosol loading Average AOT @ 500 nm 0.8.
Aug. 31- Sept. 1, Partly cloudy to overcast, morning winds up to 12 m/sec. Some dust noted.
Sept. 1- 5. Clear heavy smoke.
Sept. 5 and 6: Partly cloudy with middle clouds AS & AC, smoke heavy.
Sept. 7 cldy
Sept. 8-9: Mostly clear, smoke heavy.
Sept. 10: Rain. Little smoke
Sept. 11-13: Overcast. No smoke
Sept. 14,15, 16 rain Cldy and rain
Sept. 17: Largely clear, little smoke
Sept. 18-19, 20, 21, 22, : Mostly Overcast, little smoke
Sept. 23, 24, 25: partly cldy, little smoke

The success of the experiment was largely dependent on the considerable efforts of Mr. Mukufute Matongo Mukelabai (Figure 7), Provincial Meteorological Officer of the Mongu Meteorological Office. Mr. Mukelabai organized our activities with the Mongu Aviation Authority and gained authorization for the experiment with the Pemanent Secretary of the Western Province, Mr. T. Muliokela. Our great appreciation to Mr. Muliokela for the green light to study smoke over his juristiction.
Mr. Mukelabai provided excellent laboratory and storage facilities for the equipment and office space for the visiting scientists. Additionally the Met. staff provided valuable meteorological council and actively participated in data collection, entry and analysis for the ground based and airborne campaigns.

Picture of Muke and Bob
Figure 7. Muke and Bob Swap, note Muke's hat.


Also our appreciation to Mr. Gabriel B.Chipeta, Director Zambian Meteorology, Mr. Collins Mweene and the staff at Zambian Meteorological Headquarters in Lusaka for providing internet service, surface wind fields, clearing our equipment through customs and facilitating collaboration with various field offices.
My thanks to Dr. Sang Lee for allowing us to take the unusual step of renting the MPL to us on very short notice. The resulting data set will push the ground based aerosol measurements to a new level of understanding. Also thanks to the Solar Light Company for loaning us the Microtops ozone meter which extended our ground based validation capability.

A final note, Dr. Darold Ward (Figure 8) of the US Forest Service Fire Chemistry Lab. has spent considerable time preparing for this experiment with numerous visits and ground based experiments in Zambia over the past five years. His bold efforts led to the design and successful execution of the most extensive ground based sun photometer network attempted in aerosol research. This combined with flying scientific instrument packages in regions of limited infrastructure has afforded the rest of us a unique opportunity to study one of the most important biomass burning regions on the planet.

Picture of Dr. Darold Ward
Figure 8. Dr. Darold Ward - USFS Fire Chemistry Lab.

E-mail Distribution List:

ilya@aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov, asmirnov@aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov, teck@aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov, wnewcomb@aeroent.gsfc.nasa.gov, brent@aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov, lblasingame@ltpmail.gsfc.nasa.gov, nader@spamer.gsfc.nasa.gov

Brent Holben NASA/GSFC code 923. // brent@aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov