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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 9 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1929-1935, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 19 Sep 2011

Research article | 19 Sep 2011

Observation of slant column NO2 using the super-zoom mode of AURA-OMI

L. C. Valin1, A. R. Russell1, E. J. Bucsela2, J. P. Veefkind3,4, and R. C. Cohen1,5 L. C. Valin et al.
  • 1College of Chemistry, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 2SRI International, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
  • 3Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands
  • 4Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
  • 5Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Abstract. We retrieve slant column NO2 from the super-zoom mode of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to explore its utility for understanding NOx emissions and variability. Slant column NO2 is operationally retrieved from OMI (Boersma et al., 2007; Bucsela et al., 2006) with a nadir footprint of 13 × 24 km2, the result of averaging eight detector elements on board the instrument. For 85 orbits in late 2004, OMI reported observations from individual "super-zoom" detector elements (spaced at 13 × 3 km2 at nadir). We assess the spatial response of these individual detector elements in-flight and determine an upper-bound on spatial resolution of 9 km, in good agreement with on-ground calibration (7 km FWHM). We determine the precision of the super-zoom mode to be 2.1 × 1015 molecules cm−2, approximately a factor of √8 lower than an identical retrieval at operational scale as expected if random noise dominates the uncertainty. We retrieve slant column NO2 over the Satpura power plant in India; Seoul, South Korea; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and a set of large point sources on the Rihand Reservoir in India using differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). Over these sources, the super-zoom mode of OMI observes variation in slant column NO2 of up to 30 × the instrumental precision within one operational footprint.

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