Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 16499-16552, 2011
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/16499/2011/
doi:10.5194/acpd-11-16499-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
ARCTAS-A ground-based observational campaign and meteorological context, interior Alaska, April 2008
D. E. Atkinson1,2,*, K. Sassen2,3, M. Hayashi4, C. F. Cahill3,6, G. Shaw3,5, D. Harrigan7, and H. Fuelberg7
1International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 930 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775, USA
2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 930 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775, USA
3Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 903 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775, USA
4Department of Earth System Science, University of Fukuoka, 8-19-1 Nanakuma, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka, 814-0180, Japan
5Department of Physics, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P.O. Box 755920, Fairbanks, AK 99775-5920, USA
6Department of Chemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P.O. Box 755920, Fairbanks, AK 99775-5920, USA
7Department of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Department of Meteorology/404 LOV, 1017 Academic Way/P.O. Box 3064520, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4520, USA
*Present address: Department of Geography, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3060 STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3R4, Canada

Abstract. Arctic aerosol loading in interior Alaska displays a strong seasonality, with pristine conditions generally prevailing during winter months and increasing frequency of midlatitude air intrusions occurring in spring. By summer, local aerosol sources, like boreal forest fire smoke, may come into prominence. Long term aerosol research from the University of Alaska Fairbanks indicates that the period around April typically marks the beginning of the retreat of the Polar Front, opening the free exchange of midlatitude air. In April 2008 the NASA ARCTAS field campaign was conducted, supported in Fairbanks by comprehensive polarization (0.693 μm) lidar, surface and balloon-borne aerosol measurements, and synoptic weather analyzes. The data provided information on the vertical distribution and type of aerosol, the size distributions and chemical nature of the surface aerosol, as well as the large scale view of aerosol transport conditions to Alaska. We found evidence to suggest four major aerosol loading events in the 25 March–30 April 2008 timeframe: a typical Arctic haze event, several days of extremely clear conditions, rapid onset of a period dominated by Asian dust with some smoke, and a period dominated by Asian smoke. A focused case study analysis conducted on 19 April 2008 using a balloon-borne optical particle counter suggested that, on this day, the majority of the suspended particulate matter consisted of Asian dust although a contribution from Asian smoke cannot be ruled out on the basis of backtrack analysis. In the last week of April concentrations gradually decreased as synoptic conditions shifted away from favoring transport to Alaska.

Citation: Atkinson, D. E., Sassen, K., Hayashi, M., Cahill, C. F., Shaw, G., Harrigan, D., and Fuelberg, H.: ARCTAS-A ground-based observational campaign and meteorological context, interior Alaska, April 2008, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 16499-16552, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-16499-2011, 2011.
 
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