A Depolarisation Lidar Based Method for the Determination of Liquid-Cloud Microphysical Properties.
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
The fact that polarisation lidars measure a multiple-scattering induced depolarisation signal in liquid clouds is well-known. The depolarisation signal depends on the lidar characteristics (e.g. wavelength and field-of-view) as well as the cloud properties (e.g. liquid water content (LWC) and cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC)). Previous efforts seeking to use depolarisation information in a quantitative manner to retrieve cloud properties have been undertaken with, arguably, limited practical success. In this work we present a retrieval procedure applicable to clouds with (quasi-)linear LWC profiles and (quasi-)constant CDNC in the cloud base region. Limiting the applicability of the procedure in this manner allows us to reduce the cloud variables to two parameters (namely liquid water content lapse-rate and the CDNC). This simplification, in turn, allows us to employ a robust optimal-estimation inversion using pre-computed look-up-tables produced using lidar Monte-Carlo multiple-scattering simulations. Here, we describe the theory behind the inversion procedure and apply it to simulated observations based on large-eddy simulation model output. The inversion procedure is then applied to actual depolarisation lidar data covering to a range of cases taken from the Cabauw measurement site in the central Netherlands. The lidar results were then used to predict the corresponding cloud-base region radar reflectivities. In non-drizzling condition, it was found that the lidar inversion results can be used to predict the observed radar reflectivities with an accuracy within the radar calibration uncertainty (2-3 dBZ). This result strongly supports the accuracy of the lidar inversion results. Results of a comparison between ground-based aerosol number concentration and lidar-derived CDNC are also presented. The results are seen to be consistent with previous studies based on aircraft-based in situ measurements.