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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Jun 2020

Submitted as: research article | 30 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Retrieval of microphysical dust particle properties from SALTRACE lidar observations: Case studies

Stefanos Samaras1, Christine Böckmann2, Moritz Haarig3, Albert Ansmann3, Adrian Walser4, and Bernadett Weinzierl4 Stefanos Samaras et al.
  • 1German Aerospace Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center Atmosphere, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Institute of Mathematics, University of Potsdam, Potsdam – OT Golm, Germany
  • 3Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 4Department of Aerosol Physics and Environmental Physics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Abstract. Saharan dust is a major natural atmospheric aerosol component with significant impact on the Earth radiation budget. In this work we determine the microphysical properties of dust particles after a long-range transport over the Atlantic Ocean, using input from three depolarization channels of a multi-wavelength polarization Raman lidar. The measurements were performed at Barbados in the framework of the Saharan Aerosol Long-Range Transport and Aerosol–Cloud-Interaction Experiment (SALTRACE) in the summers of 2013 and 2014. The microphysical retrievals are performed with the software tool SphInX (Spheroidal Inversion Experiments) which uses regularization for the inversion process and a new two-dimensional (2-D) extension of the Mie model approximating dust with spheroids. The method allows us to simultaneously retrieve shape- and size-dependent particle distributions. Because dust particles are mostly non-spherical this software tool fills the gap in estimating the non-spherical particle fraction. Two cases measured on 10 July 2013 and 20 June 2014 are discussed. 2-D radius-bimodal shape-size distribution are retrieved. The ratio of spherical-to-non-spherical contributions to the particle number concentration was found to be about 3/7. A volume-weighted effective aspect ratio of 1.1 was obtained, indicating slightly prolate particles. The total effective radius for the two cases in the preselected radius range from 0.01–2.2 μm was found to be, on average, 0.75 μm. The stronger dust event (10 July 2013) showed about 24 % higher values for the total surface-area and volume concentration. Finally, we compare our results with the ones from the polarization lidar-photometer networking (POLIPHON) method and ground-based photometers as well as with airborne in situ particle counters. Considering all differences in these independent approaches, we find a qualitatively good agreement between the different results and a consistent description of the dust cases. Such an extensive comparison is a novel and fruitful exercise and corroborates that the mathematical retrieval based on Raman lidar data of particle backscattering, extinction, and depolarization is a powerful tool even in the case of dust particles.

Stefanos Samaras et al.

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Stefanos Samaras et al.

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Latest update: 05 Jul 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We retrieve microphysical properties of Saharan dust particles after a long-range transport over the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados using three depolarization channels of a Raman lidar. The retrievals are performed with a spheroidal software tool by regularization. For the first time we retrieve simultaneously a shape- and size-dependent particle distribution and compare it with the polarization lidar-photometer networking method, ground-based photometer and airborne in situ particle counter data.
We retrieve microphysical properties of Saharan dust particles after a long-range transport over...