Validation of Sentinel-5P TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 products by comparison with NO2 measurements from airborne imaging DOAS, ground-based stationary DOAS, and mobile car DOAS measurements during the S5P-VAL-DE-Ruhr campaign
Van Roozendael, M.
Santana Diaz, D.
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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Airborne imaging differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS), ground-based stationary DOAS, and car DOAS measurements were conducted during the S5P-VAL-DE-Ruhr campaign in September 2020. The campaign area is located in the Rhine-Ruhr region of North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany, which is a pollution hotspot in Europe comprising urban and large industrial sources. The DOAS measurements are used to validate spaceborne NO2 tropospheric vertical column density (VCD) data products from the Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5P) TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI). Seven flights were performed with the airborne imaging DOAS instrument for measurements of atmospheric pollution (AirMAP), providing measurements that were used to create continuous maps of NO2 in the layer below the aircraft. These flights cover many S5P ground pixels within an area of 30 km × 35 km and were accompanied by ground-based stationary measurements and three mobile car DOAS instruments. Stationary measurements were conducted by two Pandora, two Zenith-DOAS, and two MAX-DOAS instruments. Ground-based stationary and car DOAS measurements are used to evaluate the AirMAP tropospheric NO2 VCDs and show high Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.88 and 0.89 and slopes of 0.90 ± 0.09 and 0.89 ± 0.02 for the stationary and car DOAS, respectively. Having a spatial resolution of about 100 m × 30 m, the AirMAP tropospheric NO2 VCD data create a link between the ground-based and the TROPOMI measurements with a nadir resolution of 3.5 km × 5.5 km and are therefore well suited to validate the TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 VCD. The observations on the 7 flight days show strong NO2 variability, which is dependent on the three target areas, the day of the week, and the meteorological conditions. The AirMAP campaign data set is compared to the TROPOMI NO2 operational offline (OFFL) V01.03.02 data product, the reprocessed NO2 data using the V02.03.01 of the official level-2 processor provided by the Product Algorithm Laboratory (PAL), and several scientific TROPOMI NO2 data products. The AirMAP and TROPOMI OFFL V01.03.02 data are highly correlated (r=0.87) but show an underestimation of the TROPOMI data with a slope of 0.38 ± 0.02 and a median relative difference of −9 %. With the modifications in the NO2 retrieval implemented in the PAL V02.03.01 product, the slope and median relative difference increased to 0.83 ± 0.06 and +20 %. However, the modifications resulted in larger scatter and the correlation decreased significantly to r=0.72. The results can be improved by not applying a cloud correction for the TROPOMI data in conditions with high aerosol load and when cloud pressures are retrieved close to the surface. The influence of spatially more highly resolved a priori NO2 vertical profiles and surface reflectivity are investigated using scientific TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 VCD data products. The comparison of the AirMAP campaign data set to the scientific data products shows that the choice of surface reflectivity database has a minor impact on the tropospheric NO2 VCD retrieval in the campaign region and season. In comparison, the replacement of the a priori NO2 profile in combination with the improvements in the retrieval of the PAL V02.03.01 product regarding cloud heights can further increase the tropospheric NO2 VCDs. This study demonstrates that the underestimation of the TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 VCD product with respect to the validation data set has been and can be further significantly improved.
CitationLange, K.; Richter, A.; Schönhardt, A.; Meier, A.C.; Bösch, T.; Seyler, A.; Krause, K.; Behrens, L.K.; Wittrock, F.; Merlaud, A.; Tack, F.; Fayt, C.; Friedrich, M.M.; Dimitropoulou, E.; Van Roozendael, M.; Kumar, V.; Donner, S.; Dörner, S.; Lauster, B.; Razi, M.; Borger, C.; Uhlmannsiek, K.; Wagner, T.; Ruhtz, T.; Eskes, H.; Bohn, B.; Santana Diaz, D.; Abuhassan, N.; Schüttemeyer, D.; Burrows, J.P. (2023). Validation of Sentinel-5P TROPOMI tropospheric NO2 products by comparison with NO2 measurements from airborne imaging DOAS, ground-based stationary DOAS, and mobile car DOAS measurements during the S5P-VAL-DE-Ruhr campaign. , Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Vol. 16, Issue 5, 1357-1389, DOI: 10.5194/amt-16-1357-2023.