Copernicus Sentinel-5P Mapping Portal
esa european commission

Sentinel-5P Tropospheric Column HCHO

This map is based on OPERATIONAL Sentinel-5P L2 products.

About Tropospheric Column HCHO

This online platform uses data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite and shows the averaged formaldehyde concentrations across the globe – using a 3-day moving average and a week moving average. Using a 3 day average eliminates most data gaps and improves data quality by reducing random noise.

Long term satellite observations of tropospheric formaldehyde (HCHO) are essential to support air quality and chemistry-climate related studies from the regional to the global scale. Formaldehyde is an intermediate gas in almost all oxidation chains of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), leading eventually to CO2. NMVOCs are, together with NOx, CO and CH4, among the most important precursors of tropospheric O3. The major HCHO source in the remote atmosphere is CH4 oxidation. Over the continents, the oxidation of higher NMVOCs emitted from vegetation, fires, traffic and industrial sources results in important and localized enhancements of the HCHO levels.

The seasonal and inter-annual variations of the formaldehyde distribution are principally related to temperature changes and fire events, but also to changes in anthropogenic activities. Its lifetime being of the order of a few hours, HCHO concentrations in the boundary layer can be directly related to the release of short-lived hydrocarbons, which mostly cannot be observed directly from space.

About this S5P-PAL map

The maps shown on this site have been based on collection 3 of the Sentinel-5P Formaldehyde Level-2 products (L2__HCHO__), available from the Copernicus Dataspace Browser. The readme file of this product can be found here.

The Copernicus Sentinel-5P HCHO measurements were first filtered according to the recommendation in the Product Readme file (only data with a qa_value > 0.5 was used). Then the measurements are mapped on a fixed latitude-longitude grid of 8193 x 16385 pixels. The grid is turned into an EPSG:4326 geotiff file using the appropriate color scale, which is again turned into an EPSG:3857 tile map.

The maps and underlying Level-3 gridded data files were generated by S5P-PAL. The Level-3 data can be downloaded from the S5P-PAL Data Portal, or directly via the download button below the map.

This service is provided as part of the Sentinel-5P Product Algorithm Laboratory (S5P-PAL)
and contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data processed by S[&]T.

Questions regarding this service can be send to the ESA EO Support Helpdesk.