Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Research article
03 Jan 2011
Research article |  | 03 Jan 2011

Aerosol single scattering albedo retrieved from ground-based measurements in the UV and visible region

V. Buchard, C. Brogniez, F. Auriol, and B. Bonnel

Abstract. Estimates of Aerosol Single Scattering Albedo (SSA) from ground-based spectral measurements in the UV-visible are conducted at Villeneuve d'Ascq (VdA) in France. In order to estimate this parameter, measurements of global and diffuse UV-visible solar irradiances performed under cloud-free conditions since 2003 with a spectroradiometer operated by the Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique (LOA) are used. The technique consists in comparing the measured irradiance values to modelled irradiances computed for various SSA. The retrieval is restricted to the 330–450 nm range to avoid ozone influence.

For validation purpose, the retrieved values of SSA at 440 nm are compared to the ones obtained from sunphotometer measurements of the AERONET/PHOTONS network available on the LOA site. The results are rather satisfying: for the period 2003–2006 the Root Mean Square (RMS) of the differences is about 0.05, this value is within the uncertainty domain of retrieval of both products. Distinction between days characterized by different aerosol content, by means of the aerosol optical thickness (AOT) retrieved from ground-based measurements at the same wavelength, shows that the comparisons between both products are better when AOT are higher. Indeed in case AOT are greater than 0.2, the RMS is 0.031 compared to 0.060 for days with an AOT lower than 0.2. The SSA estimated at 340 and 380 nm from ground-based spectra are also studied, though no validation can be carried out with sunphotometer data (440 nm is the shortest wavelength at which the SSA is provided by the network). The good comparisons observed at 440 nm can let assume that the SSA retrieved from spectroradiometer measurements at the two other wavelengths are also obtained with a good confidence level. Thus these values in the UV range can be used to complete aerosol data provided by AERONET/PHOTONS at VdA. Moreover they can be used for a best knowledge of the aerosol absorption that is necessary to quantify the error on surface UV irradiances estimated from satellites.