Articles | Volume 4, issue 7
Research article
26 Jul 2011
Research article |  | 26 Jul 2011

Operational total and tropospheric NO2 column retrieval for GOME-2

P. Valks, G. Pinardi, A. Richter, J.-C. Lambert, N. Hao, D. Loyola, M. Van Roozendael, and S. Emmadi

Abstract. This paper presents the algorithm for the operational near real time retrieval of total and tropospheric NO2 columns from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME-2). The retrieval is performed with the GOME Data Processor (GDP) version 4.4 as used by the EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Ozone and Atmospheric Chemistry Monitoring (O3M-SAF). The differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) method is used to determine NO2 slant columns from GOME-2 (ir)radiance data in the 425–450 nm range. Initial total NO2 columns are computed using stratospheric air mass factors, and GOME-2 derived cloud properties are used to calculate the air mass factors for scenarios in the presence of clouds. To obtain the stratospheric NO2 component, a spatial filtering approach is used, which is shown to be an improvement on the Pacific reference sector method. Tropospheric air mass factors are computed using monthly averaged NO2 profiles from the MOZART-2 chemistry transport model. An error analysis shows that the random error in the GOME-2 NO2 slant columns is approximately 0.45 × 1015 molec cm−2. As a result of the improved quartz diffuser plate used in the GOME-2 instrument, the systematic error in the slant columns is strongly reduced compared to GOME/ERS-2. The estimated uncertainty in the GOME-2 tropospheric NO2 column for polluted conditions ranges from 40 to 80 %. An end-to-end ground-based validation approach for the GOME-2 NO2 columns is illustrated based on multi-axis MAXDOAS measurements at the Observatoire de Haute Provence (OHP). The GOME-2 stratospheric NO2 columns are found to be in good overall agreement with coincident ground-based measurements at OHP. A time series of the MAXDOAS and the GOME-2 tropospheric NO2 columns shows that pollution episodes at OHP are well captured by GOME-2. Monthly mean tropospheric columns are in very good agreement, with differences generally within 0.5 × 1015 molec cm−2.