Assessing Aerosol Mixed Layer Heights from the NASA Larc Airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) during the Discover-AQ Field Campaigns

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Amy Jo Scarino1,2, Richard Anthony Ferrare2, Sharon P Burton2, Chris A Hostetler2, Johnathan W Hair2, Raymond R Rogers2, Timothy Berkoff2, Patricia Sawamura2,3, James E Collins Jr1,2, Shane T Seaman2,4, Anthony L Cook2, David B Harper2, Melanie B Follette-Cook5,6, Arlindo daSilva6 and Cynthia A Randles5,6, (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)National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA, United States, (5)Morgan State University, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (6)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The first- and second-generation NASA airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidars (HSRL-1 and HSRL-2) have been deployed on board the NASA Langley Research Center King Air aircraft during the Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and VERtically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ) field campaigns. These included deployments during July 2011 over Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD, during January and February 2013 over the San Joaquin Valley of California, during September 2013 over Houston, TX and during July and August 2014 over Denver, CO. Measurements of aerosol extinction, backscatter, and depolarization are available from both HSRL-1 and HSRL-2 in coordination with other participating research aircraft and ground sites. These measurements constitute a diverse data set for use in characterizing the spatial and temporal distribution of aerosols, aerosol optical thickness (AOT), as well as the mixed layer (ML) height. Analysis of the ML height at these four locations is presented, including temporal and horizontal variability and comparisons between land and water, including the Chesapeake Bay and Galveston Bay. Using the ML heights, the distribution of AOT relative to the ML heights is determined, which is relevant for assessing the long-range transport of aerosols. The ML heights are also used to help relate column AOT measurements and extinction profiles to surface PM2.5 concentrations. The HSRL ML heights are also used to evaluate the performance in simulating the temporal and spatial variability of ML heights from both chemical regional models and global forecast models.