Accounting for the aerosol type and additional satellite-borne aerosol products improves the prediction of PM2.5 concentrations

Somaya Falah, Fadi Kizel, Tirthankar Banerjee, David M. Broday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fine airborne particles (diameter <2.5 μm; PM2.5) are recognized as a major threat to human health due to their physicochemical properties: composition, size, shape, etc. However, normally only size-fraction-specific particle concentrations are monitored. Interestingly, although the aerosol type is reported as part of the aerosol optical depth retrieval from satellite observations, it has not been utilized, to date, as an auxiliary information/co-variate for PM2.5 prediction. We developed Random Forest (RF) and eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) models that account for this information when predicting surface PM2.5. The models take as input only widely available data: satellite aerosol products with full cover and surface meteorological data. Distinct models were developed for AOD of specific aerosol types. Both the RF and XGBoost models performed well, showing moderate-to-high cross-validated adjusted R2 (RF: 0.753–0.909; XGBoost: 0.741–0.903), depending on the aerosol type and other covariates. The weighted performance of the specific aerosol-type models was higher than of the RF and XGBoost baseline models, where all the AOD retrievals were used together (the common practice). Our approach can provide improved risk estimates due to exposure to PM2.5, better resolved radiative forcing calculations, and tailored abatement surveillance of specific pollutants/sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121119
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • AOD
  • Aerosol type
  • OMI
  • PM
  • Random Forest
  • XGBoost

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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