Study of near surface layers in Coastal Texas and their correlation with PBL heights using LIDAR during the NASA 2013 Discover AQ Campaign

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Vanessa Caicedo, University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States, Barry L Lefer, University of Houston, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Houston, TX, United States, Amy Jo Scarino, Science Systems and Applications Inc., Hampton, VA, United States, Chris A Hostetler, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, Armin Wisthaler, University of Oslo, Department of Chemistry, Oslo, Norway and John D W Barrick, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Hampton, Hampton, VA, United States
This study investigates aerosol layers obtained from a ground LIDAR (Vaisala CL31) situated in Galveston Island during the September 2013 NASA Discover-AQ Texas campaign. Initial data reduction has shown two recurring non-connecting aerosol layers between 50 and 500 m. Changes in the vertical profiles of relative humidity, and potential temperature collected from the NASA P-3 Aircraft were correlated with these recurring layers identified by the CL31. Aerosol backscatter profiles from the High Spectral Resolution LIDAR (HSRL) aboard the NASA King Air Aircraft also indicate the presence of multiple near surface layers. While the planetary boundary layer (PBL) heights inferred from the P-3 aircraft profiles generally agreed with the CL31 LIDAR measurements, the initial PBL heights retrieved from the NASA HSRL Galveston Island over flights did not agree with the CL31 ground LIDAR measurements. However, preliminary unprocessed aerosol backscatter data displayed aerosol layers, which appear to match the two layers seen by the Galveston CL31 LIDAR. Variations in the vertical profiles of VOC trace gases, as measured by the P-3 airborne PTR-MS, also confirmed the presence of the two layers observed by the CL31 at Galveston. Further data analysis aims to determine the significance of these aerosol backscatter signals and their correlation to the PBL.