Optical properties and mineralogical composition of different Saharan mineral dust samples: a laboratory study
1Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, P.O. Box 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
2University of Szeged, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Optics and Quantum Electronics, P.O. Box 406, 6701 Szeged, Hungary
3Research Group on Laser Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Dóm tér 9., 6720 Szeged, Hungary
Abstract. In aerosol chamber experiments optical properties of airborne mineral dust samples of defined size distribution were measured. Extinction coefficients (bext) and mass specific extinction cross sections (σext) were determined for Saharan dust samples from different locations. The results for σext were not very sensitive to the type of dust and varied at λ=550 nm between 3.3±0.4 m2 g−1 and 3.7±0.4 m2 g−1. The absorption coefficients (babs) and mass specific absorption cross sections (σabs) were determined with a novel multi-wavelength photo-acoustic absorption spectrometer (PAS). Between λ=266 nm and λ=1064 nm the derived single scattering albedos (SSA) ranged from 0.63±0.04 to 0.99±0.01. Additionally the chemical and mineralogical composition of the dust samples was analysed with special regard to the iron oxide phases hematite and goethite. At λ=266 nm the mineral dust sample without any detectable iron oxides showed a significantly higher SSA compared to the sample with a hematite content of 0.6 wt-%.