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Lidar characterization of the Arctic atmosphere during ASTAR 2007: four cases studies of boundary layer, mixed-phase and multi-layer clouds

Lampert A, Ritter C, Hoffmann A, Gayet J, Mioche G, Ehrlich A, Dörnbrack A, Wendisch M, Shiobara M ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 10, issue 6 (2010) pp. 2847-2866

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Abstract

During the Arctic Study of Tropospheric Aerosol, Clouds and Radiation
(ASTAR), which was conducted in Svalbard in March and April 2007,
tropospheric Arctic clouds were observed with two ground-based
backscatter lidar systems (micro pulse lidar and Raman lidar) and with
an airborne elastic lidar. In the time period of the ASTAR 2007
campaign, an increase in low-level cloud cover (cloud tops below 2.5 km)
from 51% to 65% was observed above Ny-Alesund. Four different case
studies of lidar cloud observations are analyzed: With the ground-based
Raman lidar, a layer of spherical particles was observed at an altitude
of 2 km after the dissolution of a cloud. The layer probably consisted
of small hydrated aerosol (radius of 280 nm) with a high number
concentration (around 300 cm(-3)) at low temperatures (-30 degrees C).
Observations of a boundary layer mixed-phase cloud by airborne lidar and
concurrent airborne in situ and spectral solar radiation sensors
revealed the localized process of total glaciation at the boundary of
different air masses. In the free troposphere, a cloud composed of
various ice layers with very different optical properties was detected
by the Raman lidar, suggesting large differences of ice crystal size,
shape and habit. Further, a mixed-phase double layer cloud was observed
by airborne lidar in the free troposphere. Local orography influenced
the evolution of this cloud. The four case studies revealed relations of
cloud properties and specific atmospheric conditions, which we plan to
use as the base for numerical simulations of these clouds.

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Authors

  • a. Lampert

  • C. Ritter

  • a. Hoffmann

  • J.-F. Gayet

  • G. Mioche

  • a. Ehrlich

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