Temporal consistency of lidar observations during aerosol transport events in the framework of the ChArMEx/ADRIMED campaign at Minorca in June 2013
Abstract. We performed synergetic daytime and nighttime active and passive remote-sensing observations at Minorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), over more than 3 weeks during the Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment/Aerosol Direct Radiative Effect in the Mediterranean (ChArMEx/ADRIMED) special observation period (SOP 1a, June–July 2013). We characterized the aerosol optical properties and type in the low and middle troposphere using an automated procedure combining Rayleigh–Mie–Raman lidar (355, 387 and 407 nm) with depolarization (355 nm) and AERONET Cimel® sun-photometer data. Results show a high variability due to varying dynamical forcing. The mean column-averaged lidar backscatter-to-extinction ratio (BER) was close to 0.024 sr−1 (lidar ratio of ∼ 41.7 sr), with a large dispersion of ±33 % over the whole observation period due to changing atmospheric transport regimes and aerosol sources. The ground-based remote-sensing measurements, coupled with satellite observations, allowed the documentation of (i) dust particles up to 5 km (above sea level) in altitude originating from Morocco and Algeria from 15 to 18 June with a peak in aerosol optical thickness (AOT) of 0.25 ± 0.05 at 355 nm, (ii) a long-range transport of biomass burning aerosol (AOT = 0.18 ± 0.16) related to North American forest fires detected from 26 to 28 June 2013 by the lidar between 2 and 7 km and (iii) mixture of local sources including marine aerosol particles and pollution from Spain. During the biomass burning event, the high value of the particle depolarization ratio (8–14 %) may imply the presence of dust-like particles mixed with the biomass burning aerosols in the mid-troposphere. For the field campaign period, we also show linearity with SEVIRI retrievals of the aerosol optical thickness despite 35 % relative bias, which is discussed as a function of aerosol type.