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Mineral Luminescence Observed From Space

Köhler, Philipp and Fischer, Woodward W. and Rossman, George R. and Grotzinger, John P. and Doughty, Russell and Wang, Yujie and Yin, Yi and Frankenberg, Christian (2021) Mineral Luminescence Observed From Space. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (19). Art. No. e2021GL095227. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2021gl095227.

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Methods developed to explore the luminescent properties of the moon facilitated the development of techniques to infer terrestrial solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) from satellite instruments. While single SIF retrievals are inherently noisy, averaging many retrievals allows us to obtain highly accurate estimates. We analyzed several years of aggregated SIF data collected by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) over nonvegetated areas to explore the potential of SIF retrievals beyond the realm of photosynthesis. The fundamentally different retrievals at varying wavelengths in the near-infrared reveal that about 10% of all barren surfaces are weakly luminescent, while a few areas luminesce strongly—amounts comparable to SIF from vegetation. By means of lithological maps, we attributed the strongest luminescence signals to exposed carbonate sedimentary rocks. Besides a detailed evaluation of the signal properties, we discussed implications for SIF data sets and other remote sensing products.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Köhler, Philipp0000-0002-7820-1318
Fischer, Woodward W.0000-0002-8836-3054
Rossman, George R.0000-0002-4571-6884
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Doughty, Russell0000-0001-5191-2155
Wang, Yujie0000-0002-3729-2743
Yin, Yi0000-0003-4750-4997
Frankenberg, Christian0000-0002-0546-5857
Additional Information:© 2021. American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 28 September 2021; Version of Record online: 28 September 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 17 September 2021; Manuscript accepted: 15 September 2021; Manuscript revised: 10 September 2021; Manuscript received: 15 July 2021. This work was funded by the Earth Science U.S. Participating Investigator (Grant NNX15AH95G). Sentinel-5 Precursor is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission implemented on behalf of the European Commission (EC). The TROPOMI payload is a joint development by ESA and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO). The Sentinel-5 Precursor ground segment development has been funded by ESA and with national contributions from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and UK. Data Availability Statement: The TROPOMI SIF data can be accessed through and luminescent areas through
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Space Agency (ESA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:mineral luminescence; solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence; satellite remote sensing; photosynthesis; TROPOMI; OCO-2
Issue or Number:19
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211014-171650558
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Köhler, P., Fischer, W. W., Rossman, G. R., Grotzinger, J. P., Doughty, R., Wang, Y., et al. (2021). Mineral luminescence observed from space. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL095227.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:111441
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 Oct 2021 19:15
Last Modified:14 Oct 2021 19:15

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