Articles | Volume 8, issue 13
11 Jul 2008
 | 11 Jul 2008

Validation of aerosol and cloud layer structures from the space-borne lidar CALIOP using a ground-based lidar in Seoul, Korea

S.-W. Kim, S. Berthier, J.-C. Raut, P. Chazette, F. Dulac, and S.-C. Yoon

Abstract. We present initial validation results of the space-borne lidar CALIOP onboard CALIPSO satellite using coincidental observations from a ground-based lidar in Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul, Korea (37.46° N, 126.95° E). We analyze six selected cases between September 2006 and February 2007, including 3 daytime and 3 night-time observations and covering different types of clear and cloudy atmospheric conditions. Apparent scattering ratios calculated from the two lidar measurements of total attenuated backscatter at 532 nm show similar aerosol and cloud layer structures both under cloud-free conditions and in cases of multiple aerosol layers underlying semi-transparent cirrus clouds. Agreement on top and base heights of cloud and aerosol layers is generally within 0.10 km, particularly during night-time. This result confirms that the CALIPSO science team algorithms for the discrimination of cloud and aerosol as well as for the detection of layer top and base altitude provide reliable information in such atmospheric conditions. This accuracy of the planetary boundary layer top height under cirrus cloud appears, however, limited during daytime. Under thick cloud conditions, however, information on the cloud top (bottom) height only is reliable from CALIOP (ground-based lidar) due to strong signal attenuations. However, simultaneous space-borne CALIOP and ground-based SNU lidar (SNU-L) measurements complement each other and can be combined to provide full information on the vertical distribution of aerosols and clouds. An aerosol backscatter-to-extinction ratio (BER) estimated from lidar and sunphotometer synergy at the SNU site during the CALIOP overpass is assessed to be 0.023±0.004 sr−1 (i.e. a lidar ratio of 43.2±6.2 sr) from CALIOP and 0.027±0.006 sr−1 (37.4±7.2 sr) from SNU-L. For aerosols within the planetary boundary layer under cloud-free conditions, the aerosol extinction profiles from both lidars are in agreement within about 0.02 km−1. Under semi-transparent cirrus clouds, such profiles also show good agreement for the night-time CALIOP flight, but large discrepancies are found for the daytime flights due to a small signal-to-noise ratio of the CALIOP data.

Final-revised paper