Articles | Volume 16, issue 11
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 7043–7066, 2016

Special issue: CHemistry and AeRosols Mediterranean EXperiments (ChArMEx)...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 7043–7066, 2016
Research article
09 Jun 2016
Research article | 09 Jun 2016

Profiling of aerosol microphysical properties at several EARLINET/AERONET sites during the July 2012 ChArMEx/EMEP campaign

María José Granados-Muñoz1,2,a, Francisco Navas-Guzmán3, Juan Luis Guerrero-Rascado1,2, Juan Antonio Bravo-Aranda1,2, Ioannis Binietoglou4, Sergio Nepomuceno Pereira5, Sara Basart6, José María Baldasano6, Livio Belegante4, Anatoli Chaikovsky7, Adolfo Comerón8, Giuseppe D'Amico9, Oleg Dubovik10, Luka Ilic11, Panos Kokkalis12, Constantino Muñoz-Porcar8, Slobodan Nickovic11,13, Doina Nicolae4, Francisco José Olmo1,2, Alexander Papayannis12, Gelsomina Pappalardo9, Alejandro Rodríguez8, Kerstin Schepanski14, Michaël Sicard8,15, Ana Vukovic16,13, Ulla Wandinger14, François Dulac17, and Lucas Alados-Arboledas1,2 María José Granados-Muñoz et al.
  • 1Dpt. Applied Physics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Granada, Fuentenueva s/n, 18071, Granada, Spain
  • 2Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research (IISTA-CEAMA), Avda. del Mediterráneo s/n, 18006, Granada, Spain
  • 3Institute of Applied Physics (IAP), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 4National Institute of R&D for Optoelectronics, Magurele, Ilfov, Romania
  • 5Departamento de Física, ECT, Instituto de Ciências da Terra, IIFA, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal
  • 6Earth Sciences Department, Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación, BSC-CNS, Barcelona, Spain
  • 7Institute of Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus
  • 8Dept. of Signal Theory and Communications, Remote Sensing Lab. (RSLab), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • 9Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Metodologie per l Analisi Ambientale (CNR-IMAA), Potenza, Italy
  • 10Laboratoire d'Optique Atmospherique, CNRS Universite de Lille 1, Bat P5 Cite scientifique, 59655, Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France
  • 11Institute of Physics, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
  • 12National Technical University of Athens, Physics Department, Laser Remote Sensing Laboratory, Zografou, Greece
  • 13South East European Virtual Climate Change Center, Republic Hydrometeorological Service, Belgrade, Serbia
  • 14Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • 15Ciències i Tecnologies de l'Espai – Centre de Recerca de l'Aeronàutica i de l'Espai/Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (CTE-CRAE/IEEC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • 16Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
  • 17Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (IPSL-LSCE), CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, CEA Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • acurrently at: Table Mountain Facility, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Wrightwood, California, USA

Abstract. The simultaneous analysis of aerosol microphysical properties profiles at different European stations is made in the framework of the ChArMEx/EMEP 2012 field campaign (9–11 July 2012). During and in support of this campaign, five lidar ground-based stations (Athens, Barcelona, Bucharest, Évora, and Granada) performed 72 h of continuous lidar measurements and collocated and coincident sun-photometer measurements. Therefore it was possible to retrieve volume concentration profiles with the Lidar Radiometer Inversion Code (LIRIC). Results indicated the presence of a mineral dust plume affecting the western Mediterranean region (mainly the Granada station), whereas a different aerosol plume was observed over the Balkans area. LIRIC profiles showed a predominance of coarse spheroid particles above Granada, as expected for mineral dust, and an aerosol plume composed mainly of fine and coarse spherical particles above Athens and Bucharest. Due to the exceptional characteristics of the ChArMEx database, the analysis of the microphysical properties profiles' temporal evolution was also possible. An in-depth analysis was performed mainly at the Granada station because of the availability of continuous lidar measurements and frequent AERONET inversion retrievals. The analysis at Granada was of special interest since the station was affected by mineral dust during the complete analyzed period. LIRIC was found to be a very useful tool for performing continuous monitoring of mineral dust, allowing for the analysis of the dynamics of the dust event in the vertical and temporal coordinates. Results obtained here illustrate the importance of having collocated and simultaneous advanced lidar and sun-photometer measurements in order to characterize the aerosol microphysical properties in both the vertical and temporal coordinates at a regional scale. In addition, this study revealed that the use of the depolarization information as input in LIRIC in the stations of Bucharest, Évora, and Granada was crucial for the characterization of the aerosol types and their distribution in the vertical column, whereas in stations lacking depolarization lidar channels, ancillary information was needed. Results obtained were also used for the validation of different mineral dust models. In general, the models better forecast the vertical distribution of the mineral dust than the column-integrated mass concentration, which was underestimated in most of the cases.

Short summary
This study provides a detailed overview of the Mediterranean region regarding aerosol microphysical properties during the ChArMEx/EMEP campaign in July 2012. An in-depth analysis of the horizontal, vertical, and temporal dimensions is performed using LIRIC, proving the algorithm's ability in automated retrieval of microphysical property profiles within a network. A validation of four dust models is included, obtaining fair good agreement, especially for the vertical distribution of the aerosol.
Final-revised paper