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In situ aerosol characterization at Cape Verde, Part 1: Particle number size distributions, hygroscopic growth and state of mixing of the marine and Saharan dust aerosol

2017, Schladitz, Alexander, Müller, Thomas, Nowak, Andreas, Kandler, Konrad, Lieke, Kirsten, Massling, Andreas, Wiedensohler, Alfred

Particle number size distributions and hygroscopic properties of marine and Saharan dust aerosol were investigated during the SAMUM-2 field study at Cape Verde in winter 2008. Aitken and accumulation mode particles were mainly assigned to the marine aerosol, whereas coarse mode particles were composed of sea-salt and a variable fraction of Saharan mineral dust. A new methodical approach was used to derive hygroscopic growth and state of mixing for a particle size range (volume equivalent) from dpve = 26 nm to 10 μm. For hygroscopic particles with dpve < 100 nm, the median hygroscopicity parameter κ is 0.35. From 100 nm < dpve < 350 nm, κ increases to 0.65. For larger particles, κ at dpve = 350 nm was used. For nearly hydrophobic particles, κ is between 0 and 0.1 for dpve < 250 nm and decreases to 0 for dpve > 250 nm. The mixing state of Saharan dust in terms of the number fraction of nearly hydrophobic particles showed the highest variation and ranges from 0.3 to almost 1. This study was used to perform a successful mass closure at ambient conditions and demonstrates the important role of hygroscopic growth of large sea-salt particles.

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Properties of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the trade wind marine boundary layer of the western North Atlantic

2016, Kristensen, Thomas B., Müller, Thomas, Kandler, Konrad, Benker, Nathalie, Hartmann, Markus, Prospero, Joseph M., Wiedensohler, Alfred, Stratmann, Frank

Cloud optical properties in the trade winds over the eastern Caribbean Sea have been shown to be sensitive to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. The objective of the current study was to investigate the CCN properties in the marine boundary layer (MBL) in the tropical western North Atlantic, in order to assess the respective roles of inorganic sulfate, organic species, long-range transported mineral dust and sea-salt particles. Measurements were carried out in June–July 2013, on the east coast of Barbados, and included CCN number concentrations, particle number size distributions and offline analysis of sampled particulate matter (PM) and sampled accumulation mode particles for an investigation of composition and mixing state with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). During most of the campaign, significant mass concentrations of long-range transported mineral dust was present in the PM, and influence from local island sources can be ruled out. The CCN and particle number concentrations were similar to what can be expected in pristine marine environments. The hygroscopicity parameter κ was inferred, and values in the range 0.2–0.5 were found during most of the campaign, with similar values for the Aitken and the accumulation mode. The accumulation mode particles studied with TEM were dominated by non-refractory material, and concentrations of mineral dust, sea salt and soot were too small to influence the CCN properties. It is highly likely that the CCN were dominated by a mixture of sulfate species and organic compounds.

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Characterization of the planetary boundary layer during SAMUM-2 by means of lidar measurements

2017, Groß, Silke, Gasteiger, Josef, Freudenthaler, Volker, Wiegner, Matthias, Geiß, Alexander, Schladitz, Alexander, Toledano, Carlos, Kandler, Konrad, Tesche, Matthias, Ansmann, Albert, Wiedensohler, Alfred

Measurements with two Raman-depolarization lidars of the Meteorological Institute of the Ludwig-Maximilians- Universit¨at, M¨unchen, Germany, performed during SAMUM-2, were used to characterize the planetary boundary layer (PBL) over Praia, Cape Verde. A novel approach was used to determine the volume fraction of dust υd in the PBL. This approach primarily relies on accurate measurements of the linear depolarization ratio. Comparisons with independent in situ measurements showed the reliability of this approach. Based on our retrievals, two different phases could be distinguished within the measurement period of almost one month. The first (22–31 January 2008) was characterized by high aerosol optical depth (AOD) in the PBL and large υd > 95%. During the second phase, the AOD in the PBL was considerably lower and υd less than ∼40%. These findings were in very good agreement with ground based in situ measurements, when ambient volume fractions are considered that were calculated from the actual measurements of the dry volume fraction. Only in cases when dust was not the dominating aerosol component (second phase), effects due to hygroscopic growth became important.

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Regional Saharan dust modelling during the SAMUM 2006 campaign

2017, Heinold, Bernd, Tegen, Ina, Esselborn, Michael, Kandler, Konrad, Knippertz, Peter, Müller, Detlef, Schladitz, Alexander, Tesche, Matthias, Weinzierl, Bernadett, Ansmann, Albert, Althausen, Dietrich, Laurent, Benoit, Massling, Andreas, Müller, Thomas, Petzold, Andreas, Schepanski, Kerstin, Wiedensohler, Alfred

The regional dust model system LM-MUSCAT-DES was developed in the framework of the SAMUM project. Using the unique comprehensive data set of near-source dust properties during the 2006SAMUMfield campaign, the performance of the model system is evaluated for two time periods in May and June 2006. Dust optical thicknesses, number size distributions and the position of the maximum dust extinction in the vertical profiles agree well with the observations. However, the spatio-temporal evolution of the dust plumes is not always reproduced due to inaccuracies in the dust source placement by the model. While simulated winds and dust distributions are well matched for dust events caused by dry synoptic-scale dynamics, they are often misrepresented when dust emissions are caused by moist convection or influenced by small-scale topography that is not resolved by the model. In contrast to long-range dust transport, in the vicinity of source regions the model performance strongly depends on the correct prediction of the exact location of sources. Insufficiently resolved vertical grid spacing causes the absence of inversions in the model vertical profiles and likely explains the absence of the observed sharply defined dust layers.

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Regional modelling of Saharan dust and biomass-burning smoke, Part I: Model description and evaluation

2017, Heinold, Bernd, Tegen, Ina, Schepanski, Kerstin, Tesche, Matthias, Esselborn, Michael, Freudenthaler, Volker, Gross, Silke, Kandler, Konrad, Knippertz, Peter, Müller, Detlef, Schladitz, Alexander, Toledano, Carlos, Weinzierl, Bernadett, Ansmann, Albert, Althausen, Dietrich, Müller, Thomas, Petzold, Andreas, Wiedensohler, Alfred

The spatio-temporal evolution of the Saharan dust and biomass-burning plume during the SAMUM-2 field campaign in January and February 2008 is simulated at 28 km horizontal resolution with the regional model-system COSMOMUSCAT. The model performance is thoroughly tested using routine ground-based and space-borne remote sensing and local field measurements. Good agreement with the observations is found in many cases regarding transport patterns, aerosol optical thicknesses and the ratio of dust to smoke aerosol. The model also captures major features of the complex aerosol layering. Nevertheless, discrepancies in the modelled aerosol distribution occur, which are analysed in detail. The dry synoptic dynamics controlling dust uplift and transport during the dry season are well described by the model, but surface wind peaks associated with the breakdown of nocturnal low-level jets are not always reproduced. Thus, a strong dust outbreak is underestimated. While dust emission modelling is a priori more challenging, since strength and placement of dust sources depend on on-line computed winds, considerable inaccuracies also arise in observation-based estimates of biomass-burning emissions. They are caused by cloud and spatial errors of satellite fire products and uncertainties in fire emission parameters, and can lead to unrealistic model results of smoke transport.