Validation of Sentinel-5P TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 products by comparison with NO2 measurements from airborne imaging, ground-based stationary, and mobile car DOAS measurements during the S5P-VAL-DE-Ruhr campaign
- 1Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
- 2Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, Belgium
- 3Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
- 4Institute for Space Science, FU Berlin, Berlin, Germany
- 5KNMI, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, Netherlands
- 6Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-8: Troposphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany
- 7LuftBlick, Innsbruck, Austria
- 8Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA
- 9European Space Agency, ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Abstract. Airborne imaging differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS), ground-based stationary and car DOAS measurements were conducted during the S5P-VAL-DE-Ruhr campaign in September 2020. The campaign area is located in the Rhine-Ruhr region of North Rhine-Westphalia, Western Germany, which is a pollution hotspot in Europe comprising urban and large industrial emitters. The measurements are used to validate space-borne NO2 tropospheric vertical column density data products from the Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5P) TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI).
Seven flights were performed with the airborne imaging DOAS instrument for measurements of atmospheric pollution (AirMAP), providing measurements which were used to create continuous maps of NO2 in the layer below the aircraft. These flights cover many S5P ground pixels within an area of 30 km x 35 km and were accompanied by ground-based stationary measurements and three mobile car DOAS instruments. Stationary measurements were conducted by two Pandora, two zenith-sky and two MAX-DOAS instruments distributed over three target areas. Ground-based stationary and car DOAS measurements are used to evaluate the AirMAP tropospheric NO2 vertical column densities and show high Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.87 and 0.89 and slopes of 0.93 ± 0.09 and 0.98 ± 0.02 for the stationary and car DOAS, respectively.
Having a spatial resolution of about 100 m x 30 m, the AirMAP tropospheric NO2 vertical column density (VCD) data creates a link between the ground-based and the TROPOMI measurements with a resolution of 3.5 km x 5.5 km and is therefore well suited to validate the TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 VCD. The measurements on the seven flight days show strong NO2 variability, which is dependent on the different target areas, the weekday, and the meteorological conditions.
The AirMAP campaign dataset is compared to the TROPOMI NO2 operational off-line (OFFL) V01.03.02 data product, the reprocessed NO2 data, using the V02.03.01 of the official L2 processor, provided by the Product Algorithm Laboratory (PAL), and several scientific TROPOMI NO2 data products. The TROPOMI data products and the AirMAP data are highly correlated with correlation coefficients between 0.72 and 0.87, and slopes of 0.38 ± 0.02 to 1.02 ± 0.07. On average, TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 VCDs are lower than the AirMAP NO2 results. The slope increased from 0.38 ± 0.02 for the operational OFFL V01.03.02 product to 0.83 ± 0.06 after the improvements in the retrieval of the PAL V02.03.01 product were implemented. Different auxiliary data, such as spatially higher resolved a priori NO2 vertical profiles, surface reflectivity and the cloud treatment, are investigated using scientific TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 VCD data products to evaluate their impact on the operational TROPOMI NO2 VCD data product. The comparison of the AirMAP campaign dataset to the scientific data products shows that the choice of surface reflectivity data base has a minor impact on the tropospheric NO2 VCD retrieval in the campaign region and season. In comparison, the replacement of the a priori NO2 profile in combination with the improvements in the retrieval of the PAL V02.03.01 product regarding cloud heights has a major impact on the tropospheric NO2 VCD retrieval and increases the slope from 0.88 ± 0.06 to 1.00 ± 0.07. This study demonstrates that the underestimation of the TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 VCD product with respect to the validation dataset has been and can be further significantly improved.
Kezia Lange et al.
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Kezia Lange et al.
Kezia Lange et al.
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