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Observation of slant column NO2 using the super-zoom mode of AURA-OMI

Valin, L. C., A. R. Russell, E. J. Bucsela, J. P. Veefkind, and R. C. Cohen (2011), Observation of slant column NO2 using the super-zoom mode of AURA-OMI, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1929-1935, doi:10.5194/amt-4-1929-2011.

We retrieve slant column NO2 from the superzoom mode of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to explore its utility for understanding NOx emissions and variability. Slant column NO2 is operationally retrieved from OMI (Boersma et al., 2007; Bucsela et al., 2006) with a nadir footprint of 13 × 24 km2 , the result of averaging eight detector elements on board the instrument. For 85 orbits in late 2004, OMI reported observations from individual “superzoom” detector elements (spaced at 13 × 3 km2 at nadir). We assess the spatial response of these individual detector elements in-flight and determine an upper-bound on spatial resolution of 9 km, in good agreement with on-ground calibration (7 km FWHM). We determine the precision of the super-zoom mode to√ 2.1 × 1015 molecules cm−2 , approxbe imately a factor of 8 lower than an identical retrieval at operational scale as expected if random noise dominates the uncertainty. We retrieve slant column NO2 over the Satpura power plant in India; Seoul, South Korea; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and a set of large point sources on the Rihand Reservoir in India using differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). Over these sources, the super-zoom mode of OMI observes variation in slant column NO2 of up to 30 × the instrumental precision within one operational footprint.

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Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)