Evaluation of Daytime measurements of Aerosols and Water Vapor made by an Operational Raman Lidar over the Southern Great Plains
Goldsmith, John E.M.
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Raman lidar water vapor and aerosol extinction profiles acquired during the daytime over the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in northern Oklahoma (36.606 N, 97.50 W, 315 m) are evaluated using profiles measured by in situ and remote sensing instruments deployed during the May 2003 Aerosol Intensive Operations Period (IOP). The automated algorithms used to derive these profiles from the Raman lidar data were first modified to reduce the adverse effects associated with a general loss of sensitivity of the Raman lidar since early 2002. The Raman lidar water vapor measurements, which are calibrated to match precipitable water vapor (PWV) derived from coincident microwave radiometer (MWR) measurements were, on average, 5–10% (0.3–0.6 g/m3) higher than the other measurements. Some of this difference is due to out-of-date line parameters that were subsequently updated in the MWR PWV retrievals. The Raman lidar aerosol extinction measurements were, on average, about 0.03 km 1 higher than aerosol measurements derived from airborne Sun photometer measurements of aerosol optical thickness and in situ measurements of aerosol scattering and absorption. This bias, which was about 50% of the mean aerosol extinction measured during this IOP, decreased to about 10% when aerosol extinction comparisons were restricted to aerosol extinction values larger than 0.15 km 1. The lidar measurements of the aerosol extinction/backscatter ratio and airborne Sun photometer measurements of the aerosol optical thickness were used along with in situ measurements of the aerosol size distribution to retrieve estimates of the aerosol single scattering albedo (wo) and the effective complex refractive index. Retrieved values of wo ranged from (0.91–0.98) and were in generally good agreement with wo derived from airborne in situ measurements of scattering and absorption. Elevated aerosol layers located between about 2.6 and 3.6 km were observed by the Raman lidar on 25 and 27 May. The airborne measurements and lidar retrievals indicated that these layers, which were likely smoke produced by Siberian forest fires, were primarily composed of relatively large particles (reff 0.23 mm) and that the layers were relatively nonabsorbing (wo 0.96–0.98). Preliminary results show that major modifications that were made to the Raman lidar system during 2004 have dramatically improved the sensitivity in the aerosol and water vapor channels and reduced random errors in the aerosol scattering ratio and water vapor retrievals by an order of magnitude.
Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 111, D05S08The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2005JD005836
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