aerosolbe > Aerosol Best EstimateVAP Type(s) > Baseline • Evaluation

Quicklook plots of monthly time series are generated for column AOD, vertical profiles up to 4 km of SSA and g, and for the corresponding RH profile. The optical properties are shown for the nominal green wavelength of 500 nm.
Quicklook plots of monthly time series are generated for column AOD, vertical profiles up to 4 km of SSA and g, and for the corresponding RH profile. The optical properties are shown for the nominal green wavelength of 500 nm.

The Aerosol Best Estimate (ABE) value-added product (VAP) provides best-estimate time series of total column Aerosol Optical Depth VAP and the associated column Angstrom exponent, as well as time/height profiles of aerosol extinction, single-scattering albedo, asymmetry parameter, and Angstrom exponents above the Central Facility at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site.

As inputs, ABE uses datastreams from the Aerosol Intensive Properties VAP, the AOD VAP, the Merged Sounding VAP, and surface meteorological instrumentation (MET). (Note that evaluation versions of this VAP used data from the Raman Lidar Vertical Profiles (RLPROF) VAP, but the current release does not. It is anticipated that future releases will use input from RLPROFBE.)

ABE applies quality checks and a cloud screen based on the standard of deviation on AOD measurements (from the normal incidence multifilter radiometer and multifilter rotating shadowband radiometer), employing interpolation over short gaps or a multi-variable regression over longer gaps to provide a nearly continuous time series estimate of AOD. The multi-variable regression includes surface aerosol scattering (from the aerosol observing system [AOS] and AIP), relative humidity (from MET), and boundary-layer height (seasonally proscribed) with weighting coefficients determined monthly to maximize agreement with coincident column AOD measurements. Column Angstrom exponents are computed from screened AOD values and interpolated over gaps.

ABE reports time/height profiles of aerosol extinction at 500 nm estimated via a seasonal climatology of RL extinction profiles as a function of column optical depth. ABE provides best-estimate time/height profiles of intensive properties of single-scattering albedo (SSA), backscatter fraction (bsf), and asymmetry parameter (g) for the red, green, and blue wavelengths estimated from surface measurements (from AOS/AIP) and the vertical profile of relative humidity (Merged Sounding) along with the assumption that the dry aerosol properties are vertically well mixed. The well-mixed assumption allows the humidity dependence measured at the surface to be applied to the vertical column, yielding estimates for the ambient aerosol scattering that reflect the vertical structure in the humidity field while the ratios involved in computing the intensive properties (SSA, bsf, g) mitigate scale-height effects on the extensive aerosol profiles.

For more information about this product, read the Aerosol Best Estimate Value-Added Product report.



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Data Details

Contact Connor Flynn
Resource(s) Data Directory
Content time range 1 January 2001 - 30 April 2021


Qiu Y, C Zhao, J Guo, and J Li. 2017. "8-Year ground-based observational analysis about the seasonal variation of the aerosol-cloud droplet effective radius relationship at SGP site." Atmospheric Environment, 164, 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.06.002.


Sawyer VR. 2015. Interaction between the aerosol direct effect in the lower troposphere and the planetary boundary layer depth (Thesis). College Park, MD: University of Maryland.


Jensen M, S Giangrande, and P Kollias. 2014. The Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds (MC3E) Experiment Final Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, U.S. DOE, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research. DOE/SC-ARM-14-012.


de Boer G, SE Bauer, T Toto, S Menon, and AM Vogelmann. 2013. "Evaluation of aerosol-cloud interaction in the GISS ModelE using ARM observations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 118(12), 10.1002/jgrd.50460.


Flynn C, J Fast, D Chand, E Kassianov, A Koontz, T Shippert, and M Shrivastava. 2012. Value-added Product Highlights from the Aerosol Life Cycle Working Group. Presented at 3rd Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Science Team Meeting. Arlington, VA.

Sivaraman C. 2012. ARM Climate Research Facility Quarterly Value-Added Product Report Fourth Quarter: July 1–September 30, 2012. U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/SC-ARM-12-022.


Sivaraman C, DD Turner, and CJ Flynn. 2004. Techniques and Methods Used to Determine the Aerosol Best Estimate Value-Added Product at SGP Central Facility. In Fourteenth ARM Science Team Meeting Proceedings, Ed. by Denice Carrothers, pp. 1-8. Albuquerque: Department of Energy.

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