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

New concepts for the comparison of tropospheric NO2 column densities derived from car-MAX-DOAS observations, OMI satellite observations and the regional model CHIMERE during two MEGAPOLI campaigns in Paris 2009/10

R. Shaiganfar, S. Beirle, H. Petetin, Q. Zhang, M. Beekmann, and T. Wagner

Abstract. We compare tropospheric column densities (vertically integrated concentrations) of NO2 from three data sets for the metropolitan area of Paris during two extensive measurement campaigns (25 days in summer 2009 and 29 days in winter 2010) within the European research project MEGAPOLI. The selected data sets comprise a regional chemical transport model (CHIMERE) as well as two observational data sets: ground-based mobile Multi-AXis-Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (car-MAX-DOAS) measurements and satellite measurements from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). On most days, car-MAX-DOAS measurements were carried out along large circles (diameter ~ 35 km) around Paris. The car-MAX-DOAS results are compared to coincident data from CHIMERE and OMI. All three data sets have their specific strengths and weaknesses, especially with respect to their spatiotemporal resolution and coverage as well as their uncertainties. Thus we compare them in two different ways: first, we simply consider the original data sets. Second, we compare modified versions making synergistic use of the complementary information from different data sets. For example, profile information from the regional model is used to improve the satellite data, observations of the horizontal trace gas distribution are used to adjust the respective spatial patterns of the model simulations, or the model is used as a transfer tool to bridge the spatial scales between car-MAX-DOAS and satellite observations. Using the modified versions of the data sets, the comparison results substantially improve compared to the original versions. In general, good agreement between the data sets is found outside the emission plume, but inside the emission plumes the tropospheric NO2 vertical column densities (VCDs). are systematically underestimated by the CHIMERE model and the satellite observations (compared to the car-MAX-DOAS observations). One major result from our study is that for satellite validation close to strong emission sources (like power plants or megacities), detailed information about the intra-pixel heterogeneity is essential. Such information may be gained from simultaneous car-MAX-DOAS measurements using multiple instruments or by combining (car-) MAX-DOAS measurements with results from regional model simulations.