Articles | Volume 8, issue 7
Research article
16 Jul 2015
Research article |  | 16 Jul 2015

Evaluation of MAX-DOAS aerosol retrievals by coincident observations using CRDS, lidar, and sky radiometer inTsukuba, Japan

H. Irie, T. Nakayama, A. Shimizu, A. Yamazaki, T. Nagai, A. Uchiyama, Y. Zaizen, S. Kagamitani, and Y. Matsumi

Abstract. Coincident aerosol observations of multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS), cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS), lidar, and sky radiometer were conducted in Tsukuba, Japan, on 5–18 October 2010. MAX-DOAS aerosol retrieval (for aerosol extinction coefficient and aerosol optical depth at 476 nm) was evaluated from the viewpoint of the need for a correction factor for oxygen collision complexes (O4 or O2–O2) absorption. The present study strongly supports this need, as systematic residuals at relatively high elevation angles (20 and 30°) were evident in MAX-DOAS profile retrievals conducted without the correction. However, adopting a single number for the correction factor (fO4 = 1.25) for all of the elevation angles led to systematic overestimation of near-surface aerosol extinction coefficients, as reported in the literature. To achieve agreement with all three observations, we limited the set of elevation angles to ≤10° and adopted an elevation-angle-dependent correction factor for practical profile retrievals with scattered light observations by a ground-based MAX-DOAS. With these modifications, we expect to minimize the possible effects of temperature-dependent O4 absorption cross section and uncertainty in DOAS fit on an aerosol profile retrieval, although more efforts are encouraged to quantitatively identify a physical explanation for the need of a correction factor.