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The first evaluation of formaldehyde column observations by improved Pandora spectrometers during the KORUS-AQ field study
Spinei, E., A. Whitehill, A. Fried, M. Tiefengraber, T. Knepp, S. Herndon, J. Herman, M. Muller, N. Abuhassan, A. Cede, D. Richter, J. Walega, J. Crawford, Jim Szykman, L. Valin, D. Williams, R. Long, R. Swap, Y. Lee, N. Nowak, AND B. Poche. The first evaluation of formaldehyde column observations by improved Pandora spectrometers during the KORUS-AQ field study. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. Copernicus Publications, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, 11(9):4943-4961, (2018). https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-4943-2018
This manuscript presents a first evaluation of Pandora total column HCHO measurements collected in continuous direct-sun observation mode during the KORUS-AQ 2016 field study. The total column measurements were compared to the integrated DC-8 in-situ profile measurements and in-situ scaled columns assuming different profile shapes. The comparison showed Pandora spectrometers were able to capture diurnal variation of HCHO column with some positive bias, and that a combined in-situ measurement of HCHO with continuous mixing heights can also be used as proxy for HCHO columns. This reached demonstrated that pandora spectrometers can serve as an excellent validation instrument for satellite derived HCHO columns, from instruments such as TROPOMI or TEMPO.
The Korea–United States Air Quality Study (KORUS-AQ) conducted during May–June 2016 offered the first opportunity to evaluate direct-sun observations of formaldehyde (HCHO) total column densities with improved Pandora spectrometer instruments. The measurements highlighted in this work were conducted both in the Seoul megacity area at the Olympic Park site (37.5232°N, 27.1260°E; 26ma.s.l.) and at a nearby rural site downwind of the city at the Mount Taehwa research forest site (37.3123°N, 127.3106°E; 160ma.s.l.). Evaluation of these measurements was made possible by concurrent ground-based in situ observations of HCHO at both sites as well as overflight by the NASA DC-8 research aircraft. The flights provided in situ measurements of HCHO to characterize its vertical distribution in the lower troposphere (0–5km). Diurnal variation in HCHO total column densities followed the same pattern at both sites, with the minimum daily values typically observed between 6:00 and 7:00 local time, gradually increasing to a maximum between 13:00 and 17:00 before decreasing into the evening. Pandora vertical column densities were compared with those derived from the DC-8 HCHO in situ measured profiles augmented with in situ surface concentrations below the lowest altitude of the DC-8 in proximity to the ground sites. A comparison between 49 column densities measured by Pandora vs. aircraft-integrated in situ data showed that Pandora values were larger by 16% with a constant offset of 0.22DU (Dobson units; R2 = 0.68). Pandora HCHO columns were also compared with columns calculated from the surface in situ measurements over Olympic Park by assuming a well-mixed lower atmosphere up to a ceilometer-measured mixed-layer height (MLH) and various assumptions about the small residual HCHO amounts in the free troposphere up to the tropopause. The best comparison (slope = 1.03±0.03; intercept = 0.29±0.02DU; and R2 = 0.78±0.02) was achieved assuming equal mixing within ceilometer-measured MLH combined with an exponential profile shape. These results suggest that diurnal changes in HCHO surface concentrations can be reasonably estimated from the Pandora total column and information on the mixed-layer height. More work is needed to understand the bias in the intercept and the slope relative to columns derived from the in situ aircraft and surface measurements.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
EXPOSURE METHODS & MEASUREMENT DIVISION
SENSING & SPATIAL ANALYSIS BRANCH