Effective lidar ratios of dense dust layers over North Africa derived from the...

Liu, Z., D. Winker, A. Omar, M. Vaughan, C. Trepte, Y. Hu, K. A. Powell, W. Sun, and B. Lin (2011), Effective lidar ratios of dense dust layers over North Africa derived from the CALIOP measurements, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 112, 204-213, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2010.05.006.

Lidar ratio (i.e., extinction-to-backscatter ratio) is a key parameter required for retrieving extinction profiles and optical depths from elastic backscatter lidar measurements, and the quality of any extinction retrieval depends critically on the accuracy of the assumed or measured lidar ratio. In this study, we analyze the first two and a half years of the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) data acquired during nighttime. Distributions of the effective lidar ratio (ELR), which is the product of the lidar ratio and an instrument-dependent multiple scattering factor, are derived for opaque dust layers observed by CALIOP over the North Africa. The median and mean ELR values are, respectively, 36.4 and 38.5 sr at 532 nm and 47.7 and 50.3 sr at 1064 nm. For these opaque dust layers, the derived ELR decreases as the volume depolarization ratio (VDR) increases, reflecting the impact of multiple scattering within the dense layers. The particulate depolarization ratio is typically ~0.3 at 532 nm for African dust observed by CALIOP. This ratio can increase to ~0.4 in the presence of significant multiple scattering. Correspondingly, the calculated ELR will decrease to ~20 sr at 532 nm and to ~30 sr at 1064 nm. The median and mean effective lidar ratio values approach, respectively, to 38 and 40 sr at 532 nm and 52 and 55 sr at 1064 nm for smaller VDR values measured in less dense layers where the multiple scattering is relatively insignificant. These values are very close to those derived in previous case studies for moderately dense dust. Case studies are also performed to examine the impacts of multiple scattering. The results obtained are generally consistent with Monte-Carlo simulations.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)