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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Apr 2020

07 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Retrieval and evaluation of tropospheric aerosol extinction profiles using MAX-DOAS measurements over Athens, Greece

Myrto Gratsea1,2, Tim Bösch3, Panos Kokkalis4,8, Andreas Richter3, Mihalis Vrekoussis5,6, Stelios Kazadzis7,1, Alexandra Tsekeri4, Alexandros Papayannis9, Maria Mylonaki9, Vassilis Amiridis4, Nikos Mihalopoulos1,2, and Evangelos Gerasopoulos1 Myrto Gratsea et al.
  • 1Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Greece
  • 2Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, Greece
  • 3Institute of Environmental Physics and Remote Sensing, University of Bremen, Germany
  • 4Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, Greece
  • 5Laboratory for Modeling and Observation of the Earth System (LAMOS), University of Bremen, Germany
  • 6Climate and Atmosphere Research Center, CARE-C, The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus
  • 7Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center, Switzerland
  • 8Physics Department, Kuwait University, Kuwait
  • 9Laser Remote Sensing Laboratory, National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Abstract. In this study, we report on the retrieval of aerosol extinction profiles from ground-based scattered sunlight multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements, carried out at Athens, Greece. It is the first time that aerosol profiles are retrieved from MAX-DOAS measurements in Athens. The reported aerosol vertical distributions at 477 nm are derived from the oxygen dimer (O4) differential slant column density observations at different elevation angles by applying the BOREAS retrieval algorithm. Four case studies have been selected for validation purposes; the retrieved aerosol profiles and the corresponding aerosol optical depths (AODs) from the MAX-DOAS are compared with lidar extinction profiles and with sun photometric measurements (AERONET observations), respectively. Despite the different approach of each method regarding the retrieval of the aerosol information, the comparison with the lidar measurements at 532 nm reveals a very good agreement in terms of vertical distribution, with r > 0.85 in all cases. The AODs from the MAX-DOAS and the sun-photometer (the latter at 500 nm) show a satisfactory correlation (with r ≈ 0.6 in three out of the four cases). The comparison indicates that the MAX-DOAS systematically underestimates the AOD in the cases of large particles (small Ångström exponent) and for measurements at small relative azimuthal angles between the viewing direction and the Sun. Better agreement is achieved in the morning, at large relative azimuthal angles. Overall, the aerosol profiles retrieved from MAX-DOAS measurements are of good quality; thus, new perspectives are opened up for assessing urban aerosol pollution on a long term-basis in Athens from continuous and uninterrupted MAX-DOAS measurements.

Myrto Gratsea et al.

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Myrto Gratsea et al.

Myrto Gratsea et al.


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