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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Nov 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.
3D evolution of Saharan dust transport towards Europe based on a 9-year EARLINET-optimized CALIPSO dataset
Eleni Marinou1,2, Vassilis Amiridis1, Ioannis Binietoglou1,3, Stavros Solomos1, Emannouil Proestakis1,4, Dimitra Konsta1, Athanasios Tsikerdekis5, Nikolaos Papagiannopoulos6, Georgia Vlastou8, Prodromos Zanis5, Dimitrios Balis2, Ulla Wandinger7, and Albert Ansmann7 1IAASARS, National Observatory of Athens, Athens, 15236, Greece
2Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece
3National Institute of R&D for Optoelectronics, Magurele, Romania
4Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Department of Physics, University of Patras, 26500, Greece
5School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece
6Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale (CNR-IMAA), Tito Scalo (PZ), Italy
7Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, 04318, Germany
8Department of Physics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Abstract. In this study we utilize a new dust product developed using CALIPSO observations and EARLINET measurements and methods to provide a 3D multiyear analysis on the evolution of Saharan dust over North Africa and Europe. The product utilizes CALIPSO L2 backscatter product corrected with a depolarization-based method to separate pure dust in external aerosol mixtures and an adjusted Saharan dust lidar ratio based on long-term EARLINET measurements. The methodology is applied on a nine-year CALIPSO dataset (2007–2015) and the results are analysed here to reveal for the first time the 3D dust evolution and the seasonal patterns of dust over its transportation paths from the Sahara towards the Mediterranean and Continental Europe. During spring, dust is uniformly distributed in the horizontal over the Sahara desert. The dust transport over the Mediterranean Sea results on mean Dust Optical Depth (DOD) values of 0.1. During summer, the dust activity is mostly shifted to the western part of the desert where mean DOD near the source is up to 0.6. Elevated dust plumes with mean extinction values between 10–75 Mm−1 are observed throughout the year at various heights between 2–6 km, extending up to latitudes of 40° N. Dust advection is identified even at latitudes of about 60° N, but this is due to rare events of episodic nature. Dust plumes of high DOD are also observed above Balkans during winter period and above North-West Europe during autumn at heights between 2–4 km, reaching mean extinction values up to 50 Mm−1. The dataset is considered unique with respect to its potential applications, including the evaluation of dust transport models and the estimation of cloud condensation and ice nuclei concentration profiles (CCN/IN). Finally, the product can be used to study dust dynamics during transportation, since it is capable of revealing even fine dynamical features such as the particle uplifting and deposition on European mountainous ridges such as Alps and Carpathian.

Citation: Marinou, E., Amiridis, V., Binietoglou, I., Solomos, S., Proestakis, E., Konsta, D., Tsikerdekis, A., Papagiannopoulos, N., Vlastou, G., Zanis, P., Balis, D., Wandinger, U., and Ansmann, A.: 3D evolution of Saharan dust transport towards Europe based on a 9-year EARLINET-optimized CALIPSO dataset, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-902, in review, 2016.
Eleni Marinou et al.
Eleni Marinou et al.


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