Remote Sensing (Apr 2021)

Polar Stratospheric Clouds Detection at Belgrano II Antarctic Station with Visible Ground-Based Spectroscopic Measurements

  • Laura Gomez-Martin,
  • Daniel Toledo,
  • Cristina Prados-Roman,
  • Jose Antonio Adame,
  • Hector Ochoa,
  • Margarita Yela

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 1412
p. 1412


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By studying the evolution of the color index (CI) during twilight at high latitudes, polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) can be detected and characterized. In this work, this method has been applied to the measurements obtained by a visible ground-based spectrometer and PSCs have been studied over the Belgrano II Antarctic station for years 2018 and 2019. The methodology applied has been validated by full spherical radiative transfer simulations, which confirm that PSCs can be detected and their altitude estimated with this instrumentation. Moreover, our investigation shows that this method is useful even in presence of optically thin tropospheric clouds or aerosols. PSCs observed in this work have been classified by altitude. Our results are in good agreement with the stratospheric temperature evolution obtained by the global meteorological model ECMWF (European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts) and with satellite PSCs observations from CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol-Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations). To investigate the presence and long-term evolution of PSCs, the methodology used in this work could also be applied to foreseen and/or historical observations obtained with ground-based spectrometers such e. g. those dedicated to Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) for trace gas observation in Arctic and Antarctic sites.