Towards Early Detection of Tropospheric Aerosol Layers Using Monitoring with Ceilometer, Photometer, and Air Mass Trajectories

Adam M., Fragkos K., Binietoglou I., Wang D., Stachlewska I.S., Belegante L., Nicolae V.

Remote Sensing

14(5), 2022, art. 1217, 10.3390/rs14051217

A near-real-time automatic detection system, based on the synergy of continuous measurements taken by a ceilometer and a photometer, has been implemented in order to detect lofted atmospheric aerosol layers and estimate the aerosol load. When heavy-loaded conditions are detected (defined by a significant deviation of the optical properties from a 10-year climatology), obtained for aerosol layers above 2500 m, an automatic alert is sent to scientists of the Romanian Lidar Network (ROLINET) to further monitor the event. The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) back-trajectory calculations are used to establish the possible pollution source. The aerosol transport events are considered to be major when various optical properties provided by the photometer are found outside the climatological values. The aerosol types over the three years for all the events identified revealed that the contribution to the pollution was 31%, 9%, and 60% from marine, dust, and continental types. Considering only the ‘outside climatology limits’ events, the respective contribution was 15%, 12%, and 73% for marine, dust, and continental types, respectively.