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Title: Tracking the Saharan Air Layer with shipborne lidar across the tropical Atlantic
Authors: Kanitz, T.Engelmann, R.Heinold, B.Baars, H.Skupin, A.Ansmann, A.
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Issue Date: 2014
Published in: Geophysical research letters, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 1044-1050
Publisher: Hoboken, NJ : Wiley
Abstract: Saharan dust was observed with shipborne lidar from 60° to 20°W along 14.5°N during a 1-month transatlantic cruise of the research vessel Meteor. About 4500 km off the coast of Africa, mean extinction and backscatter-related Ångström exponent of 0.1, wavelength-independent extinction-to-backscatter ratios (lidar ratios) of around 45 sr, and particle linear depolarization ratio of 20% were found for aged dust (transport time >10 days). In contrast, dust with a shorter atmospheric residence time of 2–3 days showed Ångström exponents of −0.5 (backscatter coefficient) and 0.1 (extinction coefficient), mean lidar ratios of 64 and 50 sr, and particle linear depolarization ratios of 22 and 26% at 355 and 532 nm wavelength, respectively. Traces of fire smoke were also detected in the observed dust layers. The lidar observations were complemented by Aerosol Robotic Network handheld Sun photometer measurements, which revealed a mean total atmospheric column aerosol optical thickness of 0.05 for pure marine conditions (in the absence of lofted aerosol layers) and roughly 0.9 during a strong Saharan dust outbreak. The achieved data set was compared with first Consortium for Small Scale Modeling-Multi-Scale Chemistry Aerosol Transport simulations. The simulated vertical aerosol distribution showed good agreement with the lidar observations.
Keywords: Aerosol optical thickness; Atmospheric residence time; Backscatter coefficients; Dust concentrations; Extinction-to-backscatter ratio; Lidar measurements; Linear depolarization ratios; Saharan dust
DDC: 550
License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported
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