Articles | Volume 17, issue 11
Research article
07 Jun 2017
Research article |  | 07 Jun 2017

Continuous vertical aerosol profiling with a multi-wavelength Raman polarization lidar over the Pearl River Delta, China

Birgit Heese, Holger Baars, Stephanie Bohlmann, Dietrich Althausen, and Ruru Deng

Abstract. A dataset of particle optical properties of the highly polluted atmosphere over the Pearl River Delta (PRD), Guangzhou, China, is presented in this paper. The data were derived from the measurements of a multi-wavelength Raman and depolarization lidar PollyXT and a co-located AERONET sun photometer. The measurement campaign was conducted from November 2011 to mid-June 2012. These are the first Raman lidar measurements in the PRD that lasted for several months.

A mean value of aerosol optical depth (AOD) of 0.54 ± 0.33 was observed by the sun photometer at 500 nm in the polluted atmosphere over this megacity for the whole measurement period. The lidar profiles frequently show lofted aerosol layers, which reach altitudes of up to 2 to 3 km and, especially during the spring season, up to 5 km. These layers contain between 12 and 56 % of the total AOD, with the highest values in spring. The aerosol types in these lofted layers are classified by their optical properties. The observed lidar ratio values range from 30 to 80 sr with a mean value of 48.0 ± 10.7 sr at 532 nm. The linear particle depolarization ratio at 532 nm lies mostly below 5 %, with a mean value of 3.6 ± 3.7 %. The majority of the Ångström exponents lie between 0.5 and 1.5, indicating a mixture of fine- and coarse-mode aerosols.

These results reveal that mostly urban pollution particles mixed with particles produced from biomass and industrial burning are present in the atmosphere above the Pearl River Delta. Trajectory analyses show that these pollution mixtures arise mainly from local and regional sources.

Final-revised paper