Infrared measurements in the 8–14-μm spectral region were made of two coal-fired power plant plumes and area haze in the Four Corners region of New Mexico from 1 to 7 Nov. 1980. The layer transmittance, optical depth, and volume extinction coefficient derived from measurements on four nonconsecutive days show the effects of the plumes on the IR optical properties of the atmosphere. The average contribution of the plume alone to the IR extinction coefficient was 74% at the Four Corners plant; the background haze contributed 7–11%. More efficient particulate emission control at the San Juan power plant reduced the average contribution of its plume to 57% of the extinction coefficient. The haze contributed an average of 16%. The results show an increase with time of the haze bulk extinction coefficient during a persistent anticyclonic synoptic situation. Extinction coefficients of the haze showed a linearity with particulate loading, which led to estimates of IR volume extinctions of the free troposphere from aerosol measurements.
© 1983 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 10, 1983
Published: June 15, 1983
L. P. Stearns and R. F. Pueschel, "Infrared optical properties of a coal-fired power plant plume," Appl. Opt. 22, 1856-1860 (1983)