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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 2055-2064, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
15 Aug 2013
Nadir airborne lidar observations of deep aerosol layers
F. Marenco Observational Based Research, Met Office, Exeter, UK
Abstract. The observation of deep and optically thick aerosol layers by a nadir-pointing lidar poses a challenge in terms of the signal inversion into a geophysically meaningful quantity such as extinction coefficient. A far-end reference molecular layer will usually be unavailable if the observed layer is near the surface, and using a near-end reference results in an unstable mathematical solution. In this paper, it is demonstrated that a far-end reference, taken within the aerosol layer, yields a better solution, and that the influence of the reference reduces strongly when coming inward, so that 1–2 km above reference the solution can be trusted. A method is developed to set the reference using the assumption of a well-mixed layer near the surface, and its effect is tested on data collected during recent aircraft-based campaigns. The method is also tested on simulated profiles in order to verify its limits and accuracy. The assumption of a well-mixed layer can be relaxed if one is able to set the reference well within a layer rather than at its boundaries.

Citation: Marenco, F.: Nadir airborne lidar observations of deep aerosol layers, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 2055-2064,, 2013.
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