Fire signatures following a large explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

August 4th, 2020 |

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm), Near-Infrared (1.61 µm and 2.25 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.75 µm) and Active Fires product (credit: William Straka. CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm), Near-Infrared (1.61 µm and 2.25 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.75 µm) and Active Fires product (credit: William Straka. CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

A sequence of Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm), Near-Infrared (1.61 µm and 2.25 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.75 µm) and Active Fires product at 2335 UTC on 04 August 2020 (above) showed nighttime reflective and thermal signatures of the fire that was burning about 8.5 hours following a large explosion that occurred at 1508 UTC in Beirut, Lebanon.

Plots of Spectral Response Functions (SRFs) for similar spectral bands on the GOES-R series ABI instrument (1.61 µm, 2.24 µm and 3.9 µm) are shown below — note that the 1.61 µm and 2.24 µm SRF curves are located close to the peak emitted radiance of very hot features such as large fires.

Plots of Spectral Response Functions for GOES-R series ABI 1..61 µm, 2.24 µm and 3.9 µm spectral bands [click to enlarge]

Plots of Spectral Response Functions for GOES-R series ABI 1..61 µm, 2.24 µm and 3.9 µm spectral bands (credit: Mat Gunshor, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images (below) showed a subtle signature of the explosion cloud as it slowly spread out to the northwest, west and southwest before sunset. Station identifier OLBA is Beirut  Rafic Hariri International Airport.

Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images [click to enlarge]

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