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Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry




An analysis is presented for both ground- and satellite-based retrievals of total column ozone and nitrogen dioxide levels from the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, metropolitan area during the NASA-sponsored July 2011 campaign of Deriving Information on Surface COnditions from Column and VERtically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ). Satellite retrievals of total column ozone and nitrogen dioxide from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the Aura satellite are used, while Pandora spectrometers provide total column ozone and nitrogen dioxide amounts from the ground. We found that OMI and Pandora agree well (residuals within ±25 % for nitrogen dioxide, and ±4.5 % for ozone) for a majority of coincident observations during July 2011. Comparisons with surface nitrogen dioxide from a Teledyne API 200 EU NOx Analyzer showed nitrogen dioxide diurnal variability that was consistent with measurements by Pandora. However, the wide OMI field of view, clouds, and aerosols affected retrievals on certain days, resulting in differences between Pandora and OMI of up to ±65 % for total column nitrogen dioxide, and ±23 % for total column ozone. As expected, significant cloud cover (cloud fraction >0.2) was the most important parameter affecting comparisons of ozone retrievals; however, small, passing cumulus clouds that do not coincide with a high (>0.2) cloud fraction, or low aerosol layers which cause significant backscatter near the ground affected the comparisons of total column nitrogen dioxide retrievals. Our results will impact post-processing satellite retrieval algorithms and quality control procedures.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.