Aerosol absorption retrieval at ultraviolet wavelengths in a complex environment
Abstract. We have used total and diffuse UV irradiance measurements from a multi-filter rotating shadow-band radiometer (UVMFR) in order to investigate aerosol absorption in the UV range for a 5-year period in Athens, Greece. This dataset was used as input to a radiative transfer model and the single scattering albedo (SSA) at 368 and 332 nm was calculated. Retrievals from a collocated CIMEL sun photometer were used to evaluate the products and study the absorption spectral behavior of retrieved SSA values. The UVMFR SSA, together with synchronous, CIMEL-derived retrievals of SSA at 440 nm, had a mean of 0.90, 0.87 and 0.83, with lowest values (higher absorption) encountered at the shorter wavelengths. In addition, noticeable diurnal variation of the SSA in all wavelengths is shown, with amplitudes up to 0.05. Strong SSA wavelength dependence is revealed for cases of low Ångström exponents, accompanied by a SSA decrease with decreasing extinction optical depth, suggesting varying influence under different aerosol composition. However, part of this dependence for low aerosol optical depths is masked by the enhanced SSA retrieval uncertainty. Dust and brown carbon UV absorbing properties were also investigated to explain seasonal patterns.