Abstract. Over 700 vertically-resolved retrievals of effective radii, number, volume, and surface-area concentrations of aerosols obtained from inversion of airborne multiwavelength High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL-2) measurements are compared to vertically resolved airborne in situ measurements obtained during DISCOVER-AQ campaign from 2013 in California and Texas. In situ measurements of dry and humidified scattering, dry absorption, and dry size distributions are used to estimate hygroscopic adjustments which, in turn, are applied to the dry in situ measurements before comparison to HSRL-2 measurements and retrievals. The HSRL-2 retrievals of size parameters agree well with the in situ measurements once the hygroscopic adjustments are applied to the latter, with biases smaller than 25 % for surface-area concentrations, and smaller than 10 % for volume concentration. A closure study is performed by comparing the extinction and backscatter measured with the HSRL-2 with those calculated from the in situ size distributions and Mie theory, once refractive indices (at ambient RH) and hygroscopic adjustments are calculated and applied. The results of this closure study revealed discrepancies between the HSRL-2 optical measurements and those calculated from in situ measurements, in both California and Texas datasets, with the aerosol extinction and backscatter coefficients measured with the HSRL-2 being larger than those calculated from the adjusted in situ measurements and Mie theory. These discrepancies are further investigated and discussed in light of the many challenges often present in closure studies between in situ and remote sensing systems, such as: limitations in covering the same size range of particles with in situ and remote sensing instruments, as well as simplified parameterizations and assumptions used when dry in situ data are adjusted to account for aerosol hygroscopicity.
How to cite. Sawamura, P., Moore, R. H., Burton, S. P., Chemyakin, E., Müller, D., Kolgotin, A., Ferrare, R. A., Hostetler, C. A., Ziemba, L. D., Beyersdorf, A. J., and Anderson, B. E.: HSRL-2 aerosol optical measurements and microphysical retrievals vs. airborne in situ measurements during DISCOVER-AQ 2013: an intercomparison study, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2016-380, 2016.
Received: 05 May 2016 – Discussion started: 17 May 2016