Lidar and spectroradiometer measurements of atmospheric aerosol optical characteristics over an urban area in Sofia, Bulgaria

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A series of campaigns involving a systematic investigation of the atmosphere over an urban area of Sofia city were carried out. A European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) scanning aerosol lidar, a spectroradiometer, a standard sun photometer and a ground meteorological station were used in the observations. Multiple aerosol layers of variable thickness (200-600┬ám) were observed systematically in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) over the study area and the experimental data were compared with theoretical data. A study of the optical characteristics of the atmospheric aerosol, including the extinction coefficient, aerosol optical depth (AOD) and Angstrom parameters α and β, was performed and their variations followed during the convective boundary layer (CBL) formation. Values of the AOD obtained using the different instruments during simultaneous measurements were compared. Preliminary results show that the AOD values recorded by the sun photometer and those calculated on the basis of the spectroradiometer data are higher than those retrieved from the lidar data. Determination of the atmospheric optical depth and extinction coefficient using a ground-based spectral instrument is a relatively simple and inexpensive method of monitoring the total aerosol content in the atmosphere as well as the air quality over the region.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Electronics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria 2: Central Laboratory of Solar-Terrestrial Influences, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria 3: University of Mining and Geology 'St Ivan Rilski', Sofia, Bulgaria 4: Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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