09 Mar 2022
09 Mar 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurement Report: Real-Time Remote Sensing of the Coastal Boundary Layer and its Interaction with Meteorology at Cape Grim, Australia

Zhenyi Chen1, Robyn Schofield2, Melita Keywood3, Sam Cleland4, Alastair G. Williams5, Alan Griffiths5, Stephen Wilson6, Peter Rayner2, and Xiaowen Shu7 Zhenyi Chen et al.
  • 1School of Ecology and Environment, Beijing Technology and Business University, 100048, Beijing, China
  • 2School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, 3010, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  • 3Climate Science Centre, Oceans and Atmosphere, CSIRO, 3195, Aspendale, VIC, Australia
  • 4Observing Systems and Operations, Bureau of Meteorology, 7330, Smithton, Tasmania, Australia
  • 5Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Lucas Heights, New South Wales, Australia
  • 6School of Earth, Atmosphere and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, 2522, NSW, Australia
  • 7Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 230031, Hefei, China

Abstract. Despite considerable efforts during the last decade, real-time characterization of the marine boundary layer and aerosol optical properties over the Southern Ocean remains scarce. We conducted simultaneous measurements of the marine boundary layer utilizing a synergy of remote sensing technology at the Baseline Air Pollution Station at Cape Grim in northwestern Tasmania, Australia, from 14 May to 16 July 2019. Aerosol optical properties were monitored by lidar (miniMPL) and a ceilometer to identify the boundary layer height, and sodar provided wind profiles to investigate their influences on the layer evolution. Boundary layer heights simulated using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model were also employed for comparison purposes. Through complementary analyses of three cases representing different source influences (marine, sea breeze and continental), this paper evaluates two algorithms (Image Edge Detection Algorithm (IEDA) and gradient method) for boundary layer height detection and examines the vertical aerosol distribution within the boundary layer at Cape Grim with an emphasis on the contributions of regional and local meteorology. We found IEDA generally performed better than the gradient method, especially during the marine-flow-influenced period with a convective layer structure. Different features of boundary layer structures in three episodes, including differential boundary layer growth and interaction with wind evolutionary processes were investigated. One was characterized by a diurnal variation with a boundary layer height of approximately 0.2–0.5 km, associated with the veering of the wind vector within the marine boundary layer during the development of a sea breeze. The other showed a thermally stable layer below 0.3 km with an enhanced extinction coefficient and linear depolarization ratio under the influence of continental sources, which was also validated by the observation from Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite. The increasing extinction coefficient and depolarization ratio with wind speeds may be attributed to the increased wet sea salt production and regional transportation from mainland Australia.

Zhenyi Chen et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-104', Anonymous Referee #1, 21 Mar 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Zhenyi Chen, 01 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-104', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Zhenyi Chen, 01 Jul 2022

Zhenyi Chen et al.

Data sets

Measurement Report: Real-Time Remote Sensing of the Coastal Boundary Layer and its Interaction with Meteorology at Cape Grim, Australia Zhenyi Chen, Robyn Schofield, Melita Keywood, Sam Cleland, Alastair Williams, Alan Griffiths, Stephen Wilson, Peter Rayner, Xiaowen Shu

Zhenyi Chen et al.


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Short summary
This study studied the marine boundary layer (MBL) process and aerosol properties in the Southern Ocean using miniMPL, ceilometer and sodar. Compared to the gradient method, the Image Edge Detection Algorithm provides more reliable boundary layer height estimations, especially when a convective MBL with stratification existed. The diurnal characteristic of BLH with the veering of the wind vector was also observed. Under the continental sources, the MBL maintained a well-mixed layer of 0.3 km.