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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.

  01 Sep 2020

01 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Formaldehyde total column densities over Mexico City: comparison between MAX-DOAS and solar absorption FTIR measurements

Claudia Rivera Cárdenas1, Cesar Guarín1,2, Wolfgang Stremme1, Martina M. Friedrich1,3, Alejandro Bezanilla1, Diana Rivera Ramos1, Cristina A. Mendoza-Rodríguez1, Michel Grutter1, Thomas Blumenstock4, and Frank Hase4 Claudia Rivera Cárdenas et al.
  • 1Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2Departamento de Física, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 3Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomie (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium
  • 4Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. Formaldehyde (HCHO) total column densities over the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) were retrieved using two independent measurement techniques: Multi Axis – Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. For the MAX-DOAS measurements, the software QDOAS was used to calculate differential Slant Column Densities (dSCDs) from the measured spectra and subsequently the Mexican MAX-DOAS Fit retrieval code (MMF) to convert from dSCDs to Vertical Column Densities (VCDs). The direct-solar absorption spectra measured with FTIR were analyzed using the PROFFIT retrieval code. Typically the MAX-DOAS instrument reports higher VCDs than those measured with FTIR, in part due to differences found in the ground-level sensitivities as revealed from the retrieval diagnostics from both instruments. Three MAX-DOAS datasets using measurements conducted towards the east, west or both sides of the measurement plane were evaluated with respect to the FTIR results. The retrieved MAX-DOAS HCHO VCDs where 5 %, 9 % and 28 % larger than the FTIR which, supported with satellite data, could demonstrate a large horizontal inhomogeneity in the HCHO abundances. A time-dependent comparison revealed that the vertical distribution of this pollutant, guided by the evolution of the mixing layer height, can play an important role in how the results are affected. Apart from the reported seasonal and diurnal variability of HCHO columns within the urban site, background data from measurements at a high-altitude station, located only 60 km away are presented.

Claudia Rivera Cárdenas et al.

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Claudia Rivera Cárdenas et al.

Claudia Rivera Cárdenas et al.


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