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Open AccessArticle

Atmosphere Boundary Layer Height (ABLH) Determination under Multiple-Layer Conditions Using Micro-Pulse Lidar

Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Lanzhou Central Meteorological Observatory, Lanzhou 730020, China
Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms and School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA
Institute of Arid Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Key Laboratory of Arid Climatic Change and Reducing Disaster of Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730020, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(3), 263;
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 25 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer)
Accurate estimation of the atmospheric boundary layer height (ABLH) is critically important and it mainly relies on the detection of the vertical profiles of atmosphere variables (temperature, humidity,’ and horizontal wind speed) or aerosols. Aerosol Lidar is a powerful remote sensing instrument frequently used to retrieve ABLH through the detection of the vertical distribution of aerosol concentration. A challenge is that cloud, residual layer (RL), and local signal structure seriously interfere with the lidar measurement of ABLH. A new objective technique presenting as giving a top limiter altitude is introduced to reduce the interference of RL and cloud layer on ABLH determination. Cloud layers are identified by looking for the rapid increase and sharp attenuation of the signal combined with the relative increase in the signal. The cloud layers whether they overlay the ABL are classified or are decoupled from the ABL are classified by analyzing the continuity of the signal below the cloud base. For cloud layer capping of the ABL, the limiter is determined to be the altitude where a positive signal gradient first occurs above the cloud upper edge. For a cloud that is decoupled from the ABL, the cloud base is considered to be the altitude limiter. For RL in the morning, the altitude limiter is the greatest positive gradient altitude below the RL top. The ABLH will be determined below the top limiter altitude using Haar wavelet (HM) and the curve fitting method (CFM). Besides, the interference of local signal noise is eliminated through consideration of the temporal continuity. While comparing the lidar-determined ABLH by HM (or CFM) and nearby radiosonde measurements of the ABLH, a reasonable concordance is found with a correlation coefficient of 0.94 (or 0.96) and 0.79 (or 0.74), presenting a mean of the relative absolute differences with respect to radiosonde measurements of 10.5% (or 12.3%) and 22.3% (or 17.2%) for cloud-free and cloudy situations, respectively. The diurnal variations in the ABLH determined from HM and CFM on four selected cases show good agreement with a mean correlation coefficient higher than 0.99 and a mean absolute bias of 0.22 km. Also, the determined diurnal ABLH are consistent with surface turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) combined with the time-height distribution of the equivalent potential temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lidar; atmosphere boundary layer height; cloud interference; residual layer interference Lidar; atmosphere boundary layer height; cloud interference; residual layer interference
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dang, R.; Yang, Y.; Li, H.; Hu, X.-M.; Wang, Z.; Huang, Z.; Zhou, T.; Zhang, T. Atmosphere Boundary Layer Height (ABLH) Determination under Multiple-Layer Conditions Using Micro-Pulse Lidar. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 263.

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