Abstract

The Paris area is strongly urbanized and is exposed to atmospheric pollution events. To understand the chemical and physical processes that are taking place in this area it is necessary to describe correctly the atmospheric boundary-layer (ABL) dynamics and the ABL height evolution. During the winter of 1994–1995, within the framework of the Etude de la Couche Limite Atmosphérique en Agglomération Parisienne (ECLAP) experiment, the vertical structure of the ABL over Paris and its immediate suburbs was extensively documented by means of lidar measurements. We present methods suited for precise determination of the ABL structure’s temporal evolution in a dynamic environment as complex as the Paris area. The purpose is to identify a method that can be used on a large set of lidar data. We compare commonly used methods that permit ABL height retrievals from backscatter lidar signals under different meteorological conditions. Incorrect tracking of the ABL depth’s diurnal cycle caused by limitations in the methods is analyzed. The study uses four days of the ECLAP experiment characterized by different meteorological and synoptic conditions.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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