Articles | Volume 6, issue 11
Research article
27 Nov 2013
Research article |  | 27 Nov 2013

Assessment of aerosol's mass concentrations from measured linear particle depolarization ratio (vertically resolved) and simulations

A. Nemuc, J. Vasilescu, C. Talianu, L. Belegante, and D. Nicolae

Abstract. Multi-wavelength depolarization Raman lidar measurements from Magurele, Romania are used in this study along with simulated mass-extinction efficiencies to calculate the mass concentration profiles of different atmospheric components, due to their different depolarization contribution to the 532 nm backscatter coefficient. Linear particle depolarization ratio (δpart) was computed using the relative amplification factor and the system-dependent molecular depolarization. The low depolarizing component was considered as urban/smoke, with a mean δpart of 3%, while for the high depolarizing component (mineral dust) a mean δpart of 35% was assumed.

For this study 11 months of lidar measurements were analysed. Two study cases are presented in details: one for a typical Saharan dust aerosol intrusion, 10 June 2012 and one for 12 July 2012 when a lofted layer consisting of biomass burning smoke extended from 3 to 4.5 km height.

Optical Properties of Aerosols and Clouds software package (OPAC) classification and conversion factors were used to calculate mass concentrations. We found that calibrated depolarization measurements are critical in distinguishing between smoke-reach aerosol during the winter and dust-reach aerosol during the summer, as well as between elevated aerosol layers having different origins. Good agreement was found between lidar retrievals and DREAM- Dust REgional Atmospheric Model forecasts in cases of Saharan dust. Our method was also compared against LIRIC (The Lidar/Radiometer Inversion Code) and very small differences were observed.