Comparing ground-based and airborne aerosol measurements during the Houston and Colorado DISCOVER-AQ field deployments

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Kenneth Lee Thornhill II1, Bruce E Anderson2, Luke D Ziemba2, Andreas Joel Beyersdorf2, Edward Winstead1, Richard Moore2, Michael Shook2, Chelsea Corr3, Gao Chen4, Charles Hudgins2, John D W Barrick1, Robert Martin2, Carolyn E Jordan5, Matt Brown6, James Ricky Hite7 and Athanasios Nenes8, (1)Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Hampton, Hampton, VA, United States, (2)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (3)Oak Ridge Associated Universities Inc., Oak Ridge, TN, United States, (4)NASA Langley Research Ctr, Hampton, VA, United States, (5)University of New Hampshire Main Campus, Durham, NH, United States, (6)Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, United States, (7)Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States, (8)Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States
Understanding the relationship between airborne and ground-based measurements is one of the key questions that the DISCOVER-AQ series of field deployments hope to be able to answer. To address this question, the NASA P-3B systematically conducted vertical profiles over at least six ground sites sampling down to about 1000 feet over ground level. This data is combined with missed approaches at local airports which provide vertically resolved information between the lowest spiral altitude and the ground-based measurements. During the last two DISCOVER-AQ field deployments (Houston September 2013 and Colorado (July-August 2014), NASA Langley had aerosol measurements both onboard the NASA P-3B and in a mobile laboratory. Coincident measurements included aerosol number concentration, size distributions, along with optical properties such as aerosol scattering, extinction, and hygroscopicity. We present a comparison between the airborne and ground-based measurements made in two very different environments. The Houston area had much higher aerosol concentrations we sampled a variety of airmasses, from clean marine-air to emissions from the local refineries. In Colorado, most of the sampling was done in low aerosol concentration environments, away from local sources. Combined, the two field experiments provide at least 60 comparisons between airborne and ground-based aerosol measurements.