UV index values and trends in Santiago, Chile (33.5 S) based on ground and satellite data.

11 November 2012


We report on the surface UV index (UVI) variations in Santiago (Chile) a city with high air pollution and complex surrounding topography. Ground-based UV measurements were continuously carried out between January 1995 and December 2011, by using a multi-channel filter radiometer (PUV-510). Ground-based measurements and satellite-derived data retrieved from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), and the Scanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY), were compared.

We found that satellite-derived UVI products largely overestimate surface UVI. Our ground-based UVI measurements were significantly lower than TOMS-derived UVI data: (46.1 ± 6.3)% (in the period 1997–2003), and OMI-derived UVI data: (47.0 ± 6.3)% (in the period 2005–2007). Clear-sky SCIAMACHY-derived UVI were found to be also nearly systematically greater than ground-based UVI measurements in the period 2002–2011. An exceptionally long period of clear skies between December 2010 and January 2011 was used to test further satellite-derived UVI data; in the whole period, OMI and SCIAMACHY data were 53.1% and 38.3% greater than our ground-based measurements, respectively.

These differences are presumably due to aerosol load associated with the local pollution and the complex topography surrounding Santiago. In addition, linear regression allowed us to estimate trends that we use for forecasting. Methodological details are provided below.


Cabrera, S., Ipiña, A., Damiani, A., Cordero, R.R. and Piacentini, R.D., 2012. UV index values and trends in Santiago, Chile (33.5 S) based on ground and satellite data. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 115, pp.73-84.

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Categories: Solar & Photovoltaics, Public Health & PPE

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