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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-306
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Oct 2018

Research article | 04 Oct 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Multi-mode retrievals for aerosol microphysical and optical properties

Guangliang Fu and Otto Hasekamp Guangliang Fu and Otto Hasekamp
  • Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON, NWO-I), Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Polarimeter retrievals can provide detailed and accurate information on aerosol microphysical and optical properties. The SRON-Aerosol algorithm is one of the few retrieval approaches that can fully exploit this information. The algorithm core is a 2-mode retrieval where effective radius (reff), effective variance (veff), refractive index, number column are retrieved for each mode, the fraction of spheres for the coarse mode, and an aerosol layer height. Further, land and ocean properties are retrieved simultaneously with the aerosol properties. In this contribution, we extend the SRON-Aerosol algorithm by implementing a multi-mode approach where each mode has fixed reff and veff. In this way the algorithm gets more flexibility in describing the aerosol size distribution and avoids the high non-linear dependence of the forward model on the aerosol size parameters. On the other hand, the approach depends on the choice of the modes used in the multi-mode approach.

We compare the performances of multi-mode retrievals (varying mode number from 2 to 10) with those based on the original (parametric) 2-mode approach. Experiments with both synthetic measurements and real measurements (PARASOL satellite level-1 data of intensity and polarization) are conducted. The synthetic data experiments show that multi-mode retrievals are good alternatives to the parametric 2-mode approach. It is found that for multi-mode approaches, with a small number of modes the retrieval results can be already good for most parameters. The real data experiments (validated with AERONET data) show that, for the Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT), multi-mode approaches achieve higher accuracy than the parametric 2-mode approach. A tendency is found that the accuracy gets better as the mode number increases. For Single Scattering Albedo (SSA), both approaches have similar performances.

Guangliang Fu and Otto Hasekamp
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Guangliang Fu and Otto Hasekamp
Guangliang Fu and Otto Hasekamp
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