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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-794
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-794
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 Aug 2020

06 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Airborne pollen observations using a multi-wavelength Raman polarization lidar in Finland: characterization of pure pollen types

Xiaoxia Shang1, Elina Giannakaki1,2, Stephanie Bohlmann1, Maria Filioglou1, Annika Saarto3, Antti Ruuskanen1, Ari Leskinen1,4, Sami Romakkaniemi1, and Mika Komppula1 Xiaoxia Shang et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Atmospheric Research Centre of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, 70211, Kuopio, Finland
  • 2Department of Environmental Physics and Meteorology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • 3Aerobiology Unit, University of Turku, Finland
  • 4Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, 70211, Kuopio, Finland

Abstract. We present a novel algorithm for characterizing the optical properties of pure pollen particles, based on the depolarization values obtained in lidar measurements. The algorithm was first tested and validated through a simulator, and then applied to the lidar observations during a four-month pollen campaign from May to August 2016 at the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) station in Kuopio (62°44′ N, 27°33′ E), in Eastern Finland. Twenty types of pollen were observed and identified from concurrent measurements with Burkard sampler; Birch (Betula), pine (Pinus), spruce (Picea) and nettle (Urtica) pollen were most abundant, contributing more than 90 % of total pollen load, regarding number concentrations. Mean values of lidar-derived optical properties in the pollen layer were retrieved for four intense pollination periods (IPPs). Lidar ratios at both 355 and 532 nm ranged from 55 to 70 sr for all pollen types, without significant wavelength-dependence. Enhanced depolarization ratio was found when there were pollen grains in the atmosphere, and even higher depolarization ratio (with mean values of 25 % or 14 %) was observed with presence of the more non-spherical spruce or pine pollen. The depolarization ratio at 532 nm of pure pollen particles was assessed, resulting to 24 ± 3 % and 36 ± 5 % for birch and pine pollen, respectively. Pollen optical properties at 1064 nm and 355 nm were also estimated. The backscatter-related Ångström exponent between 532 and 1064 nm was assessed as ~ 0.8 (~ 0.5) for pure birch (pine) pollen, thus the longer wavelength would be better choice to trace pollen in the air. The pollen depolarization ratio at 355 nm of 17 % and 30 % were found for birch and pine pollen, respectively. The depolarization values show a wavelength dependence for pollen. This can be the key parameter for pollen detection and characterization.

Xiaoxia Shang et al.

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Xiaoxia Shang et al.

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Short summary
Measurements of the multi-wavelength Raman polarization lidar PollyXT have been combined with measurements of pollen type and concentration using a traditional pollen sampler at the rural forest site in Kuopio, Finland. Depolarization ratio was enhanced when there were pollen grains in the atmosphere, illustrating the potential of lidar to track pollen grains in the atmosphere. The depolarization ratio of pure pollen particles was assessed for birch and pine pollen using a novel algorithm.
Measurements of the multi-wavelength Raman polarization lidar PollyXT have been combined with...
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