89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 9:15 AM
Doppler lidar tracking of aerosol plumes
Room 122A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Charles Retallack, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; and R. Calhoun and H. J. S. Fernando
Scanning coherent Doppler lidar has proved a valuable tool for purposes of tracking aerosol pollutant releases in the atmosphere. Concentrated aerosol plume releases near urban areas can pose severe health issues to the populous. Topography near an urban area can play an important role in influencing atmospheric flow patterns, resulting in exposure of city occupants to high pollution levels. Atmospheric stability also plays a key role in the mechanics of these flows. Doppler lidar has the ability to remotely measure both wind velocity fields as well as relative aerosol concentrations in the atmospheric boundary layer. For this reason, Doppler lidar is an ideal choice for studies of aerosol plume propagation near urban areas.

Over the last few years, the Arizona State University Doppler lidar has been deployed in several field experiments studying various aspects of the atmospheric boundary layer. In our studies involving aerosol plume tracking, the focus has been on identifying transport mechanism. Knowledge of these transport mechanisms is invaluable for purposes of reducing aerosol pollution exposure through improved design and procedure. The Doppler lidar, in its ability to remotely detect cross-sections of aerosol plumes that are invisible to the naked eye, has removed a great deal of speculation that would otherwise be involved in ascertaining a “source to sensor” pathway for a given pollutant. This has allowed for assessments to be made based on our studies that would guide efforts toward reducing aerosol pollution exposure. An overview of results from theses studies will be presented.

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