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Properties of the mixing layer height retrieved from ceilometer measurements in Slovakia and its relationship to the air pollutant concentrations

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Mixing layer height (MLH) is an important meteorological parameter for air quality since it significantly affects ground-level pollution in the atmosphere. This study examined the properties of the MLH on diurnal and seasonal timescales over a 3-year period (2020–2022) using high temporal resolution measurements from eight Vaisala CL31 ceilometers situated around Slovakia. Hourly averaged MLH data was retrieved from the BL-View software using merged method. The highest daily maxima for the MLH occurred mostly in summer and spring, while the lowest values occurred predominantly during winter and autumn. The average MLH daily maximum in summer was 2229 m, and just 859 m in winter. During summer, the spatial distribution of the MLH daily maxima was more uniform compared to winter, when the air masses within the individual valleys did not mix well. Correlations between ground-level pollutant concentrations and hourly mean/daily mean MLH were analyzed. The highest correlation, R≈0.6, was found for O3. For PM10, PM2.5, and NOx, the anticorrelations with MLH were found with maximum in winter (R ≈ − 0.3 for hourly data and R ≈ − 0.5 for daily mean data) but no relation in summer. Lastly, the ceilometer MLH was compared to the radiosonde retrieved MLH for various cloud covers. Our analysis is based on an extensive set of empirical data, which can improve the accuracy and effectiveness of meteorological and atmospheric chemistry models. The findings can support air pollution forecasting and warning systems, providing valuable insights for policymakers and researchers.

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All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].


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Duy-Hieu Nguyen: formal analysis, visualization, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. Dušan Štefánik: data curation, conceptualization, formal analysis, resources, writing—review and editing, supervision. Tereza Šedivá: visualization, writing—review and editing. Chitsan Lin: writing—review and editing.

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Correspondence to Duy-Hieu Nguyen.

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Nguyen, DH., Štefánik, D., Šedivá, T. et al. Properties of the mixing layer height retrieved from ceilometer measurements in Slovakia and its relationship to the air pollutant concentrations. Environ Sci Pollut Res 30, 115666–115682 (2023).

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