Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
02 Nov 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.
PBL height estimation based on lidar depolarisation measurements (POLARIS)
Juan Antonio Bravo-Aranda1,2,a, Gregori de-Arruda-Moreira3, Francisco Navas-Guzmán4, María José Granados-Muñoz1,2,b, Juan Luís Guerrero-Rascado1,2, David Pozo-Vázquez5, Clara Arbizu-Barrena6, Francisco José Olmo1,2, Marc Mallet7,c, and Lucas Alados-Arboledas1,2 1Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research (IISTA-CEAMA), Granada, Spain
2Dpt. Applied Physics, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
3Institute of Energetic and Nuclear Research (IPEN), São Paulo, Brazil
4Institute of Applied Physics (IAP), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
5Dpt. of Physics, University of Jaén, Jaén, Spain
6Laboratoire d’Aérologie, Toulouse, France
7Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Toulouse, France
anow at: Institute Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS-Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France
bcurrently at: Table Mountain Facility, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Wrightwood, California, USA
cnow at: CNRM, Météo-France-CNRS, Toulouse, France
Abstract. The automatic and non-supervised detection of the planetary boundary layer height (zPBL) by means of lidar measurements was widely investigated during the last years. Despite the considerable advances achieved the experimental detection still present difficulties either because the PBL is stratified (typically, during night-time) either because advected aerosol layers are coupled to the PBL. The coupling uses to produce an overestimation of the zPBL. To improve the detection even in these complex atmospheric situations, we present a new algorithm, called POLARIS (PBL height estimatiOn based on Lidar depolARISation). POLARIS applies the wavelet covariance transform (WCT) to the range corrected signal and to the perpendicular-to-parallel signal ratio (δ) profiles. Different candidates for zPBL are chosen and the attribution is done, based on the WCT applied to the RCS and the δ. We use two ChArMEx campaigns with lidar and microwave radiometer (MWR), conducted on 2012 and 2013, for the POLARIS' adjustment and validation. POLARIS improves the zPBL detection thanks to the consideration of the relative changes in the depolarization capabilities of the aerosol particles in the lower part of the atmospheric column. Taking the advantage of a proper determination of the zPBL determined by POLARIS and by MWR under Saharan dust events, we compare the POLARIS and MWR zPBL with the zPBL provided by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) numerical weather prediction model. WRF underestimates the zPBL during daytime but agrees with the MWR during night-time. The zPBL provided by WRF showed a better temporal evolution during daytime than during night-time.

Citation: Bravo-Aranda, J. A., de-Arruda-Moreira, G., Navas-Guzmán, F., Granados-Muñoz, M. J., Guerrero-Rascado, J. L., Pozo-Vázquez, D., Arbizu-Barrena, C., Olmo, F. J., Mallet, M., and Alados-Arboledas, L.: PBL height estimation based on lidar depolarisation measurements (POLARIS), Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-718, in review, 2016.
Juan Antonio Bravo-Aranda et al.
Juan Antonio Bravo-Aranda et al.
Juan Antonio Bravo-Aranda et al.


Total article views: 310 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
211 78 21 310 14 22

Views and downloads (calculated since 02 Nov 2016)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 02 Nov 2016)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 310 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 308 with geography defined and 2 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1



Latest update: 27 Apr 2017
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The automatic detection of the planetary boundary layer height (PBL height) by means of lidar measurements still presents difficulties. This work shows an improvement of the PBL height detection using lidar depolarization measurements. To our knowledge, it is the first time that the lidar depolarization tehcnique is used to this purpose. Also, the PBL height derived from the WRF model is compared with the PBL heights of this new method and from a microwave radiometer during CHARMEX campaigns.
The automatic detection of the planetary boundary layer height (PBL height) by means of lidar...