EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Automatic detection of atmospheric boundary layer heights at the European scale (ABL testbed)

Simone Kotthaus1, Melania Van Hove1, Martial Haeffelin1, Marc-Antoine Drouin2, Clement Laplace3, Sophie Bouffies-Cloche3, Jean-Charles Dupont4, Rolf Ruefenacht5, Maxime Hervo5, Alexander Haefele5, Martine Collaud Coen5, Leonard Rivier6, and the PROBE ABL testbed team*
Simone Kotthaus et al.
  • 1Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), France (
  • 2Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD-IPSL), France
  • 3IPSL, ESPRI, AERIS, France
  • 4IPSL, UVSQ, France
  • 5Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss, Switzerland
  • 6Laboratoire des Science du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE-IPSL), France
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

A detailed understanding of atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) processes is key to improve forecasting of pollution dispersion and cloud dynamics in the context of future climate scenarios. International networks of automatic lidars and ceilometers (ALC) are gathering valuable data that allow for ABL layers to be derived in near real time. A new generation of advanced methods to automatically detect the ABL heights now exist. However, diversity in ALC models means these algorithms need to be tailored to instrument-specific capabilities.

In the framework of the ABL testbed project (funded by ICOS, ACTRIS and EUMETNET E-PROFILE), two advanced algorithms for the detection of ABL heights are being assessed for application in an operational network setting. A prime example of collaborations within the EU COST action PROBE on profiling the atmospheric boundary layer, the ABL testbed is a crucial step towards harmonised ABL height products at the European scale. A subset of 11 E-PROFILE sites in diverse geographical and land cover settings across Europe are selected where data from different ALC are available covering multiple years. Automatic layer detection is implemented, including instrument-specific corrections and calibrations. Algorithm performance for layer height detection is being evaluated via comparison of results from different ALC. Recommendations are formulated for implementation of automatic ABL height retrievals across a diverse sensor network. First results are very promising, revealing consistent temporal and spatial variations in ABL layer heights across the network.

PROBE ABL testbed team:

Mariana Adam (7), Lucas Alados Arboledas (8), Petra Bauerová (9), Annachiara Bellini (10), Frank Beyrich (11), Juan Antonio Bravo Aranda (8), Joelle C Buxmann (12), Nico Cimini (13), Ewan O'Connor (14), Henri Diémoz (15), Alessio Golzio (16), Marijn de Haij (17), Michal Heliasz (18), Anne Hirsikko (14), Irene Lehner (18), Steven Knoop (17), Pauline Martinet (19), Anca Nemuc (7), Pavla Skrivankova (9), Myles Turp (12) (7) National Institute of Research and Development for Optoelectronics, INOE, Romania; (8) University of Granada, Spain; (9) Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, CHMI, Czech Republic; (10) Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima (CNR-ISAC), Italy; (11) DWD, Germany; (12) MetOffice, UK; (13) CNR-IMAA, Italy, (14) Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Finland; (15) ARPA Valle d'Aosta, Italy; (16) University of Turin, Italy; (17) Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Netherlands; (18) Lund University, Sweden; (19) CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France

How to cite: Kotthaus, S., Van Hove, M., Haeffelin, M., Drouin, M.-A., Laplace, C., Bouffies-Cloche, S., Dupont, J.-C., Ruefenacht, R., Hervo, M., Haefele, A., Collaud Coen, M., and Rivier, L. and the PROBE ABL testbed team: Automatic detection of atmospheric boundary layer heights at the European scale (ABL testbed), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7378,, 2022.


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