Danchovski, V. Summertime Urban Mixing Layer Height over Sofia, Bulgaria. Atmosphere2019, 10, 36.
Danchovski, V. Summertime Urban Mixing Layer Height over Sofia, Bulgaria. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 36.
Mixing layer height (MLH) is a crucial parameter for air quality modelling that is still not routinely measured. Common methods for MLH determination use atmospheric profiles recorded by radiosonde but they suffer from course temporal resolution since balloon launching is only twice a day. Recently cheap ceilometers are gaining popularity in the retrieval of MLH diurnal evolution based on aerosol profiles. This study presents a comparison of a proprietary (Jenoptik) and a free available (STRAT) algorithms to retrieve MLH diurnal cycle. The comparison is accomplished in summer season over urban area and radiosonde data is used to estimate MLHs according to parcel, lapse rate, and Richardson methods (the last algorithm is used as a reference in the study) in addition. It was found that STRAT and Jenoptik give lower MLH than radiosonde with an underestimation of about 150m and 650m respectively. Additionally, STRAT showed reasonable performance in tracking of MLH diurnal evolution. Daily MLH maximum of about 2000m was found in the late afternoon (18-19 LT). In contrast, Jenoptik algorithm showed more weaknesses, mainly attributed to its real-time operation and independent processing of a single profile. At night and during morning transition period, both lidar-based methods showed difficulties as MLH was often in the ceilometer’s incomplete overlapping zone so residual or advected aerosol layers aloft were misleadingly reported as mixing layer (ML).
mixing layer; urban area; ceilometer; radiosonde
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