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Technical note:Evaluation of profile retrievals of aerosols and trace gases for MAX-DOAS measurements under different aerosol scenarios based on radiative transfer simulations

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Wang,  Yang
Satellite Remote Sensing, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Beirle,  Steffen
Satellite Remote Sensing, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Wagner,  Thomas
Satellite Remote Sensing, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Dörner,  Steffen
Satellite Remote Sensing, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Tian, X., Wang, Y., Beirle, S., Xie, P., Wagner, T., Xu, J., et al. (2021). Technical note:Evaluation of profile retrievals of aerosols and trace gases for MAX-DOAS measurements under different aerosol scenarios based on radiative transfer simulations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 21. doi:10.5194/acp-2021-45.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-1ED6-6
Abstract
Ground-based Multi-AXis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) is a state of the art remote sensing technique for deriving vertical profiles of trace gases and aerosols. However, MAX-DOAS profile inversions under aerosol pollution scenarios are challenging because of the complex radiative transfer and limited information content of the measurements. In this study, the performances of two inversion algorithms were evaluated for various aerosol pollution scenarios based on synthetic slant column densities (SCDs) derived from radiative transfer simulations. One inversion algorithm is based on optimal estimation, the other uses a parameterized approach. In this analysis, 3 types of profile shapes for aerosols and NO2 were considered: exponential, Boltzmann, and Gaussian. First, the systematic deviations of the retrieved aerosol profiles from the input profiles were investigated. For most cases, the AODs of the retrieved profiles were found to be systematically lower than the input values, and the deviations increased with increasing AOD. Especially for the optimal estimation algorithm and for high AOD, these findings might explain part of the deviations between the AOD retrieved from MAX-DOAS and sun photometers in previous studies. For the optimal estimation algorithm the agreement with the input values can be improved by optimizing the covariance matrix of the a priori uncertainties. Second, the aerosol effects on the NO2 profile retrieval were tested. Here, especially for the optimal estimation algorithm, a systematic dependence on the NO2 VCD was found with a strong relative overestimation of the retrieved results for low NO2 VCDs and an underestimation for high NO2 VCDs. In contrast, the dependence on the aerosol profiles was found to be rather low. In general, both inversion schemes can well retrieve the near-surface values of aerosol extinction and trace gases concentrations.