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Aerosol characterization over Northern Greece; aerosol loading derived from satellite observations and ground-based measurements

MariLiza Koukouli(1), Dimitris Balis(1), Alkis Bais(1), Vasilis Amiridis(1), Stelios Kazadzis(1), Elina Giannakaki(1), Natalia Kouremeti(1) and Omar Torres(2)

(1) Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece
(2) JCET, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, United States


With the synergistic use of ground-based measurements and modelling predictions, the applicability of the Aerosol Index as extracted from TOMS/EarthProbe and OMI/Aura observations over the city of Thessaloniki is investigated quantitatively. Even though it is rightly assumed that the spade of satellite measurements will highly complement and aid the use of ground-based observations, great care is required in the interpretation of their joint findings.

Sunphotometer and lidar ground-based measurements of aerosol optical depth and space-born observations of the aerosol index from 1997 to 2001 (TOMS/Earth Probe) and from 2004 to date (OMI/Aura) were utilised in this work to study the varying aerosol load over Thessaloniki. The city is situated in a unique sea-side location, while being frequently affected by biomass burning and dessert dust particles arriving at the location from air mass trajectories from most directions. Local and regional pollution further affects the quality of the local air and the observed tropospheric optical depth.

Two categories of extreme atmospheric aerosol loading were examined in detail; with the combined use of dust loading modelling over the Mediterranean area and lidar measurements days with significant Saharan dust loading were identified. Further to this, ATSR-2 World Fire Atlas observations over Europe and Russia were superimposed over back-trajectory calculations of the air-mass arriving over Thessaloniki hence identifying biomass burning events. In addition, results from a three-month observational campaign during the summer of 2005, combining OMI/Aura overpasses with detailed sunphotometer, cloud cover and lidar measurements are presented.


Full paper

Workshop poster

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry