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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Yonglin Shen; Changmin Jiang; Ka Lok Chan; Chuli Hu; Ling Yao
Publication Date: 2021

Crop residue burning is the major biomass burning activity in China, strongly influencing the regional air quality and climate. As the cultivation pattern in China is rather scattered and intricate, it is a challenge to derive an accurate emission inventory for crop residue burning. In this study, we proposed a remote sensing-based method to estimate nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions related to crop residue burning at the field level over Hubei, China. The new method considers differences in emission factors and the spatial distribution for different crop types. Fire radiative power (FRP) derived from moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) was used to quantify NOx emissions related to agricultural biomass combustion. The spatial distribution of different crops classified by multisource remote sensing data was used as an a priori constraint. We derived a new NOx emission database for Hubei from 2014 to 2016 with spatial resolution of 1 × 1 km. Significant seasonal patterns were observed from the NOx emission database. Peak NOx emission occurring in October was related to the residue burning in late autumn harvesting. Another peak was observed between January and April, which was due to the frequent burning of stubble before spring sowing. Our results were validated by comparing our emission inventory with geostationary satellite observations, previous studies, global fire emission database (GFED), NO2 vertical column densities (VCDs) from ozone monitoring instrument (OMI) satellite observations, and measurements from environmental monitoring stations. The comparisons showed NOx emission from GFED database was 47% lower than ours, while the evaluations from most of the statistical studies were significantly higher than our results. The discrepancies were likely related to the differences of methodology and data sources. The spatiotemporal variations of NOx emission in this study showed strong correlations with NO2 VCDs, which agreed well with geostationary satellite observations. A reasonable correlation between in situ NO2 observations and our results in agricultural regions demonstrated that our method is reliable. We believe that the new NOx emission database for crop residue burning derived in this study can potentially improve the understanding of pollution sources and can provide additional information for the design of pollution control measures.

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Citation: Shen, Yonglin; Jiang, Changmin; Chan, Ka Lok; Hu, Chuli; Yao, Ling. 2021. Estimation of field-level NOx emissions from crop residue burning using remote sensing data: a case study in Hubei, China. Remote Sensing 13(3):404.

Cataloging Information

  • China
  • crop residue burning
  • FRP - Fire Radiative Power
  • MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
  • NOx emission factor
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Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 64967