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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

The Vertical Variability of Black Carbon Observed in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer during DACCIWA

Barbara Altstädter1, Konrad Deetz2, Bernhard Vogel2, Karmen Babić2, Cheikh Dione2, Federica Pacifico3, Corinne Jambert3, Friederike Ebus1, Konrad Bärfuss1, Falk Pätzold1, Astrid Lampert1, Bianca Adler2, Norbert Kalthoff2, and Fabienne Lohou3 Barbara Altstädter et al.
  • 1Institute of Flight Guidance, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany
  • 2Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 3Laboratoire d’Aérologie, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, Toulouse, France

Abstract. The vertical variability of the black carbon (BC) mass concentration in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is analysed during the West-African Monsoon (WAM) season. BC was measured with a micro aethalometer (model AE51, AethLabs) integrated in the payload bay of the unmanned research aircraft ALADINA (Application of Light-weight Aircraft for Detecting IN situ Aerosol) as part of the field experiment of the DACCIWA (Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa) project. In total, 53 measurement flights were performed at the local airfield of Save, Benin, in the period of 2–16 July 2016. The mean results show a high variability of BC (1.79 to 2.42 ± 0.31 μg/m3) influenced by the stratification of the ABL during the WAM. The model COSMO-ART (Consortium for Small-scale Modelling–Aerosols and Reactive Trace gases) was applied for the field campaign period and used in order to investigate possible sources of the measured BC. The model output was compared with the BC data on two selected measurement days (14 and 15 July 2016). The modeled vertical profiles of BC show that the observed BC was already altered, as the size was mainly dominated by the accumulation mode. Further, the calculated vertical transects of wind speed and BC showed that the measured BC layer was transported from the south with maritime inflow, but was mixed vertically after to the onset of the nocturnal low-level jet (NLLJ) at the measurement site. The validations and the ground observations of gas concentrations NOx and CO confirm that primary emission could be excluded during the case study, in contrast to initially expected. The case underlines the important role of BC transport processes in the WAM area.

Barbara Altstädter et al.
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Barbara Altstädter et al.
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Short summary
We present the high vertical variability of the black carbon (BC) mass concentration up to 1000 m altitude measured with unmanned research aircraft in July 2016 during the field experiment of DACCIWA. The COSMO-ART model output was applied for the campaign and compared with the observational BC data on three selected days. Enhanced BC concentrations were related to transport processes to the measurement site by maritime inflow, not by local emissions.
We present the high vertical variability of the black carbon (BC) mass concentration up to...