Estelles, V; Martinez-Lozano, JA; Pey, J; Sicard, M; Querol, X; Esteve, AR; Utrillas, MP; Sorribas, M; Gangoiti, G; Alastuey, A; Rocadenbosch, F (2012). Study of the correlation between columnar aerosol burden, suspended matter at ground and chemical components in a background European environment. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 117, D04201.
Although routinely monitored by ground based air quality networks, the particulate matter distribution could be eventually better described with remote sensing techniques. However, valid relationships between ground level and columnar ground based quantities should be known beforehand. In this study we have performed a comparison between particulate matter measurements at ground level at different cut sizes (10, 2.5 and 1.0 mu m), and the aerosol optical depth obtained by means of a ground based sunphotometer during a multiinstrumental field campaign held in El Arenosillo (Huelva, Spain) from 28 June to 4 July 2006. All the PM fractions were very well correlated with AOD with correlation coefficients that ranged from 0.71 to 0.81 for PM10, PM2.5 and PM1. Furthermore, the influence of the mixing layer height in the correlations was explored. The improvement in the correlation when the vertical distribution is taken into account was significant for days with a homogeneous mixing layer. Moreover, the chemical analysis of the individual size fractions allowed us to study the origin of the particulate matter. Secondary components were the most abundant and also well correlated in the three size fractions; but for PM10 fraction, chemical species related to marine origin were best correlated. Finally, we obtained a relationship between MODIS L3 AOD from collection 5.1 and the three PM cut sizes. In spite of being a relatively clean environment, all the techniques were able to capture similar day to day variations during this field campaign.