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British Journal of Environment and Climate Change, ISSN: 2231-4784,Vol.: 3, Issue.: 4 (October-December)-Special Issue

Original Research Article Special Issue

Application of a Synergetic Lidar and Sunphotometer Algorithm for the Characterization of a Dust Event Over Athens, Greece


A. Tsekeri1*, V. Amiridis1, P. Kokkalis2, S. Basart3, A. Chaikovsky4, O. Dubovik5, R.E. Mamouri2,6, A. Papayannis2 and J. M. Baldasano3,7

1Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece.
2Laboratory of Lasers and Applications, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
3Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputation (BSC-CNS), Earth Sciences Department, Barcelona, Spain.
4Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Science of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus.
5Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, Universite de Lille, Lille, France.
6Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Cyprus Technical University, Lemesos, Cyprus.
7Environmental Modelling Laboratory, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain.


We present first retrievals of the Lidar-Radiometer Inversion Code (LIRIC), applied on combined lidar and sunphotometer data during a Saharan dust episode over Athens, Greece, on July 20, 2011. A full lidar dataset in terms of backscatter signals at 355, 532 and 1064 nm, as well as depolarization at 532 nm was acquired from the European Aerosol Research Network (EARLINET) station of Athens and combined with Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) data, in order to retrieve the concentration and extinction coefficient profiles of dust. The lidar measurements showed a free tropospheric layer between 1-5 km above Athens, with low Ångström exponent of ~0.5 and high particle depolarization ratio, ~25-30%, both values characteristic of dust particles. The application of LIRIC revealed high concentration profiles of non-spherical coarse particles in the layer, in the range of 0.04-0.07 ppb and a smaller fine particle component with concentrations of ~0.01 ppb. The extinction coefficients at 532 nm ranged between 50 and 90 Mm-1 for coarse non-spherical particles and between 25 and 50Mm-1 for fine particles. The retrievals were compared with modeled dust concentration and extinction coefficient profiles from the Dust Regional Atmospheric Modeling (BSC-DREAM8b), showing good agreement, especially for the coarse mode.

Keywords :

Aerosol concentration; saharan dust; LIRIC; lidar; sunphotometer; EARLINET; AERONET.

Full Article - PDF    Page 531-546

DOI : 10.9734/BJECC/2013/2615

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