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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 2
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 949–969, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-949-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 949–969, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-949-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 16 Feb 2018

Research article | 16 Feb 2018

Characterization of smoke and dust episode over West Africa: comparison of MERRA-2 modeling with multiwavelength Mie–Raman lidar observations

Igor Veselovskii1,2,3, Philippe Goloub4, Thierry Podvin4, Didier Tanre4, Arlindo da Silva3, Peter Colarco3, Patricia Castellanos3,5, Mikhail Korenskiy1, Qiaoyun Hu3, David N. Whiteman4, Daniel Pérez-Ramírez6, Patrick Augustin7, Marc Fourmentin7, and Alexei Kolgotin1 Igor Veselovskii et al.
  • 1Physics Instrumentation Center of GPI, Troitsk, Moscow, Russia
  • 2Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, UMBC, Baltimore, USA
  • 3NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, USA
  • 4Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérie, Université de Lille-CNRS, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
  • 5Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
  • 6Applied Physics Department, University of Granada, Spain
  • 7Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie de l'Atmosphère, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, France

Abstract. Observations of multiwavelength Mie–Raman lidar taken during the SHADOW field campaign are used to analyze a smoke–dust episode over West Africa on 24–27 December 2015. For the case considered, the dust layer extended from the ground up to approximately 2000 m while the elevated smoke layer occurred in the 2500–4000 m range. The profiles of lidar measured backscattering, extinction coefficients, and depolarization ratios are compared with the vertical distribution of aerosol parameters provided by the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2). The MERRA-2 model simulated the correct location of the near-surface dust and elevated smoke layers. The values of modeled and observed aerosol extinction coefficients at both 355 and 532 nm are also rather close. In particular, for the episode reported, the mean value of difference between the measured and modeled extinction coefficients at 355 nm is 0.01 km−1 with SD of 0.042 km−1. The model predicts significant concentration of dust particles inside the elevated smoke layer, which is supported by an increased depolarization ratio of 15 % observed in the center of this layer. The modeled at 355 nm the lidar ratio of 65 sr in the near-surface dust layer is close to the observed value (70 ± 10) sr. At 532 nm, however, the simulated lidar ratio (about 40 sr) is lower than measurements (55 ± 8 sr). The results presented demonstrate that the lidar and model data are complimentary and the synergy of observations and models is a key to improve the aerosols characterization.

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Observations of multiwavelength Mie–Raman lidar during smoke episode over West Africa are compared with the vertical distribution of aerosol parameters provided by the MERRA-2 model. The values of modeled and observed extinctions at both 355 nm and 532 nm are also rather close. The model predicts significant concentration of dust particles inside the smoke layer. This is supported by a high depolarization ratio of 15 % observed in the center of this layer.
Observations of multiwavelength Mie–Raman lidar during smoke episode over West Africa are...
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