Articles | Volume 5, issue 8
Research article
14 Aug 2012
Research article |  | 14 Aug 2012

Lidar measurement of planetary boundary layer height and comparison with microwave profiling radiometer observation

Z. Wang, X. Cao, L. Zhang, J. Notholt, B. Zhou, R. Liu, and B. Zhang

Abstract. The atmospheric boundary layer height was derived at two locations in the city of Lanzhou (China) and its suburb rural area Yuzhong. The aerosol backscatter lidar measurements were analysed using a wavelet technology and the parcel method was applied to profiling microwave radiometer observations. For a few occasions the average boundary layer height and entrainment zone thickness was derived in convective situations at Yuzhong. Results from selected observation days show that both datasets agree in strong convective situations. However, for weak convective situations the lidar measurements reveal boundary layer heights that are higher compared to the microwave observations, because a decrease of the thermal boundary layer height does not directly lead to a change of aerosols in that altitude layer. Finally, the entrainment zone thicknesses are compared with theoretical predictions, and the results show that the measurements are compatible with theoretical models.