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Observed aerosol-layer depth at Station Nord in the high Arctic

New publication by Gryning SE, Batchvarova E, Floors R, Münkel C, Sørensen LL, Skov H.


The depth of the aerosol layer at the Villum Research Station at Station Nord in the high Arctic is analysed based on 8 years of observations from a ceilometer and one full year from a wind lidar. The layer is of particular interest for aerosol process modelling and atmospheric chemistry studies. The depth of the aerosol layer is assigned to the inflection point in the attenuated backscatter profile by two methods; one is based on polynomial approximation of the profile and the other is direct numerical differentiation. The analysis is based on two types of hourly profiles; one consists of averaging the attenuated backscatter observations and the other by computing the median. Due to sporadic occurrence of outliers in the ranges around 50 m in the ceilometer observations, this part of the profile is not used in this study. Restricting the observations to heights above 100 m, the depths of the aerosol layer are found to be typically ≈230 m. It varies little between winter and summer, but the spread in the depth is larger during the winter as compared to summer. To extend the study of the aerosol-layer depth below 100 m, a method is applied that combines the ceilometer measurements with the carrier-to-noise ratio from the wind lidar. The results are available for 2018 only, and they show aerosol-layer depths below ≈80 m as well as depths around 230 m and they show few observations between ≈80 and ≈230 m. Near the ground, the observed backscatter exhibits a pronounced seasonal variation, having low values during the summer and high values during the winter. The strength of the seasonal variability decreases with height, especially above the aerosol-layer depth, and is virtually absent at 1 km.