Dual-wavelength aerosol vertical profile measurements by MAX-DOAS at Tsukuba, Japan
Abstract. We present vertical profiles of the aerosol extinction coefficient retrieved from ground-based Multi-Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements at Tsukuba, Japan (36.1° N, 140.1° E), from November 2006 to March 2007. Retrievals utilizing absorption by the oxygen collision complex O4 are first made at two wavelengths, 354 and 476 nm. A robust assessment of the MAX-DOAS aerosol data is then made using coincident lidar measurements throughout the period. Agreement between aerosol extinction coefficients measured by MAX-DOAS and the lidar tends to be better at the longer wavelength and at lower altitudes. At 476 nm, the best agreement, to within 30%, is found at altitudes of 0–1 km, confirming results from a literature assessment for a two-month measurement period. These findings are supported by comparisons between aerosol optical depths derived from MAX-DOAS and sky radiometer measurements and are further explained by differences in the altitude-dependent measurement sensitivity to the aerosol extinction coefficient between 354 and 476 nm. Thus, uncertainty in MAX-DOAS aerosol measurements is well quantified and characterized, providing a basis for quantitative studies using MAX-DOAS measurements.