Articles | Volume 3, issue 3
10 May 2010
 | 10 May 2010

Optical properties of different aerosol types: seven years of combined Raman-elastic backscatter lidar measurements in Thessaloniki, Greece

E. Giannakaki, D. S. Balis, V. Amiridis, and C. Zerefos

Abstract. We present our combined Raman/elastic backscatter lidar observations which were carried out at the EARLINET station of Thessaloniki, Greece, during the period 2001–2007. The largest optical depths are observed for Saharan dust and smoke aerosol particles. For local and continental polluted aerosols the measurements indicate high aerosol loads. However, measurements associated with the local path indicate enhanced aerosol load within the Planetary Boundary Layer. The lowest value of aerosol optical depth is observed for continental aerosols, from West directions with less free tropospheric contribution. The largest lidar ratios, of the order of 70 sr, are found for biomass burning aerosols. A significant and distinct correlation between lidar ratio and backscatter related Ångström exponent values were estimated for different aerosol categories. Scatter plot between lidar ratio values and Ångström exponent values for local and continental polluted aerosols does not show a significant correlation, with a large variation in both parameters possibly due to variable absorption characteristics of these aerosols. Finally for continental aerosols with west and northwest directions that follow downward movement when arriving at our site constantly low lidar ratios almost independent of size are found.