Retrieval and evaluation of tropospheric-aerosol extinction profiles using multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements over Athens, Greece

Gratsea, Myrto; Bösch, Tim; Kokkalis, Panagiotis; Richter, Andreas; Vrekoussis, Mihalis; Kazadzis, Stelios; Tsekeri, Alexandra; Papayannis, Alexandros; Mylonaki, Maria; Amiridis, Vassilis; Mihalopoulos, Nikos; Gerasopoulos, Evangelos

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 inline-formulanm are derived from the oxygen dimer (inline-formulaO4) differential-slant-column-density observations at different elevation angles by applying the BRemen Optimal estimation REtrieval for Aerosol and trace gaseS (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 (Aerosol Robotic Network, 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 inline-formulanm reveals a very good agreement in terms of vertical distribution, with inline-formular>0.90 in all cases. The AODs from the MAX-DOAS and the sun photometer (the latter at 500 inline-formulanm) show a satisfactory correlation (with 0.45 inline-formula<inline-formularinline-formula< 0.7 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.

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Gratsea, Myrto / Bösch, Tim / Kokkalis, Panagiotis / et al: Retrieval and evaluation of tropospheric-aerosol extinction profiles using multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements over Athens, Greece. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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