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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 22 Oct 2018

Research article | 22 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Technical note: Absorption aerosol optical depth components from AERONET observations of mixed dust plumes

Sung-Kyun Shin1, Matthias Tesche1, Detlef Müller1, and Youngmin Noh2 Sung-Kyun Shin et al.
  • 1School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Environmental Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan, Republic of Korea

Abstract. Absorption aerosol optical depth (AAOD) as obtained from sun/sky photometer measurements provides a measure of the light-absorbing properties of the columnar aerosol loading. However, it is not an unambiguous, aerosol-type specific parameter, particularly if several types of absorbing aerosols, for instance black carbon (BC) and mineral dust, are present in a mixed aerosol plume. The contribution of mineral dust to total aerosol light-absorption is particularly important at UV wavelengths. In this study we refine a lidar-based technique for the separation of dust and non-dust aerosol types for the use with Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) direct sun and inversion products. We extend the methodology to retrieve AAOD related to non-dust aerosol (AAODnd) and BC (AAODBC). We test the method at selected AERONET sites that are frequently affected by aerosol plumes that contain a mixture of Saharan or Asian mineral dust and biomass-burning smoke or anthropogenic pollution, respectively. We find that aerosol optical depth (AOD) related to mineral dust as obtained with our methodology is frequently smaller than coarse-mode AOD. This suggests that the latter is not an ideal proxy for estimating the contribution of mineral dust to mixed dust plumes. We present the results of the AAODBC retrieval for the selected AERONET sites and compare them to coincident values provided in the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring System aerosol re-analysis. We find that modelled and AERONET AAODBC are most consistent for Asian sites or at Saharan sites with strong local anthropogenic sources.

Sung-Kyun Shin et al.
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Sung-Kyun Shin et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present a methodology to infer the contribution of mineral dust and non-dust aerosol to the absorbing aerosol optical depth (AAOD) of mixed aerosol layers. The method presents an adaptation of a lidar-based aerosol-type separation technique to passive measurements with AERONET sun photometers by using lidar-specific parameters obtained from the AERONET inversion. The findings on BC-related AAOD are compared to CAMS aerosol reanalysis data with promising results for sites in east Asia.
We present a methodology to infer the contribution of mineral dust and non-dust aerosol to the...