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Nitrogen dioxide DOAS measurements from ground and space: comparison of zenith scattered sunlight ground-based measurements and OMI data in Central Mexico


Journal: Atmósfera
ISSN 0187-6236

Volume: 26;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 401;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: DOAS | OMI | nitrogen dioxide | ground-based | space-borne | central Mexico

The use of satellite data in combination with ground-based measurements can provide valuable information about atmospheric chemistry and air quality. In this study, ground-based Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) conducted in central Mexico are compared with the space-borne Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) dataset of 2006-2011. Ground-based measurements exhibited large day-to-day variations and were on average three times higher than the space-borne derived average over the observation site. This difference is attributed to strong horizontal inhomogeneity of the lower layer of the measured NO2 columns, sampled over a large footprint from the satellite instrument. Also, a reduced sensitivity of the satellite observation near the surface, where the largest concentrations are expected, could be responsible for this large discrepancy. From the analyzed OMI dataset, distribution maps of NO2 above central Mexico were reconstructed, allowing to identify three main areas with increased NO2 column densities: The dominating metropolitan area of Mexico City, the heavily industrialized region of Tula to the north and the Cuernavaca valley to the south. In this analysis, seasonal variability of NO2 columns over central Mexico was detected, finding higher NO2 columns during the dry and cold season, followed by the dry and warm period, and finally the lowest NO2 columns were found during the rainy season. Pollution transport of this gas from Tula into Mexico City, as well as towards the Cuernavaca valley, is evident from this dataset.
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Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona