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ABSTRACT

Vertical profiles of the linear particle depolarization ratio of pure dust clouds were measured during the Saharan Mineral Dust Experiment (SAMUM) at Ouarzazate, Morocco (30.9°N, –6.9°E), close to source regions in May–June 2006, with four lidar systems at four wavelengths (355, 532, 710 and 1064 nm). The intercomparison of the lidar systems is accompanied by a discussion of the different calibration methods, including a new, advanced method, and a detailed error analysis. Over the whole SAMUM periode pure dust layers show a mean linear particle depolarization ratio at 532 nm of 0.31, in the range between 0.27 and 0.35, with a mean Ångström exponent (AE, 440–870 nm) of 0.18 (range 0.04–0.34) and still high mean linear particle depolarization ratio between 0.21 and 0.25 during periods with aerosol optical thickness less than 0.1, with a mean AE of 0.76 (range 0.65–1.00), which represents a negative correlation of the linear particle depolarization ratio with the AE. A slight decrease of the linear particle depolarization ratio with wavelength was found between 532 and 1064 nm from 0.31 ± 0.03 to 0.27 ± 0.04.