skip to main content

Title: Planetary Boundary Layer from AERI and MPL

The distribution and transport of aerosol emitted to the lower troposphere is governed by the height of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), which limits the dilution of pollutants and influences boundary-layer convection. Because radiative heating and cooling of the surface strongly affect the PBL top height, it follows diurnal and seasonal cycles and may vary by hundreds of meters over a 24-hour period. The cap the PBL imposes on low-level aerosol transport makes aerosol concentration an effective proxy for PBL height: the top of the PBL is marked by a rapid transition from polluted, well-mixed boundary-layer air to the cleaner, more stratified free troposphere. Micropulse lidar (MPL) can provide much higher temporal resolution than radiosonde and better vertical resolution than infrared spectrometer (AERI), but PBL heights from all three instruments at the ARM SGP site are compared to one another for validation. If there is agreement among them, the higher-resolution remote sensing-derived PBL heights can accurately fill in the gaps left by the low frequency of radiosonde launches, and thus improve model parameterizations and our understanding of boundary-layer processes.
Authors:
Publication Date:
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Product Type:
Dataset
Research Org(s):
Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Archive, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (US)
Collaborations:
PNL, BNL,ANL,ORNL
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Subject:
54 Environmental Sciences; Planetary boundary layer height
OSTI Identifier:
1171944
  1. ARM focuses on obtaining continuous measurements—supplemented by field campaigns—and providing data products that promote the advancement of climate models. ARM data include routine data products, value-added products (VAPs), field campaign data, complementary external data products from collaborating programs, and data contributed by ARM principal investigators for use by the scientific community. Data quality reports, graphical displays of data availability/quality, and data plots are also available from the ARM Data Center. Serving users worldwide, the ARM Data Center collects and archives approximately 20 terabytes of data per month. Datastreams are generally available for download within 48 hours.
No associated Collections found.
  1. Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) heights have been computed using potential temperature profiles derived from Raman lidar and AERI measurements. Raman lidar measurements of the rotational Raman scattering from nitrogen and oxygen are used to derive vertical profiles of potential temperature. AERI measurements of downwelling radiancemore » are used in a physical retrieval approach (Smith et al. 1999, Feltz et al. 1998) to derive profiles of temperature and water vapor. The Raman lidar and AERI potential temperature profiles are merged to create a single potential temperature profile for computing PBL heights. PBL heights were derived from these merged potential temperature profiles using a modified Heffter (1980) technique that was tailored to the SGP site (Della Monache et al., 2004). PBL heights were computed on an hourly basis for the period January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011. These heights are provided as meters above ground level. « less
  2. Planetary Boundary Layer Height Value Added Product: Radiosonde Retrievals
  3. Planetary Boundary Layer Height: Radiosonde Retrievals with yearly output
  4. Planetary Boundary Layer Height Value Added Product: Radiosonde Retrievals
  5. The atmospheric emitted radiance interferometer (AERI) is a ground-based instrument that measures the downwelling infrared radiance from the Earth's atmosphere. The observations have broad spectral content and sufficient spectral resolution to discriminate among gaseous emitters (e.g., carbon dioxide and water vapor) and suspended matter (e.g.,more » aerosols, water droplets, and ice crystals). These upward-looking surface observations can be used to obtain vertical profiles of tropospheric temperature and water vapor, as well as measurements of trace gases (e.g., ozone, carbon monoxide, and methane) and downwelling infrared spectral signatures of clouds and aerosols.The AERI is a passive remote sounding instrument, employing a Fourier transform spectrometer operating in the spectral range 3.3-19.2 μm (520-3020 cm-1) at an unapodized resolution of 0.5 cm-1 (max optical path difference of 1 cm). The extended-range AERI (ER-AERI) deployed in dry climates, like in Alaska, have a spectral range of 3.3-25.0 μm (400-3020 cm-1) that allow measurements in the far-infrared region. Typically, the AERI averages views of the sky over a 16-second interval and operates continuously. « less