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Spatial and temporal variability of column-integrated aerosol optical...

Eck, T. F., B. Holben, J. Reid, A. Sinyuk, O. Dubovik, A. Smirnov, D. Giles, N. T. O’Neill, S. Tsay, Q. Ji, A. A. Mandoos, M. R. Khan, E. A. Reid, J. Schafer, M. Sorokine, W. Newcomb, and I. Slutsker (2008), Spatial and temporal variability of column-integrated aerosol optical properties in the southern Arabian Gulf and United Arab Emirates in summer, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D01204, doi:10.1029/2007JD008944.

A mesoscale network of 14 AERONET Sun photometers was established in the UAE and adjacent Arabian Gulf from August through September 2004 as a component of the United Arab Emirates Unified Aerosol Experiment (UAE2). These measurements allowed for spatial, temporal and spectral characterization of the complex aerosol mixtures present in this environment where coarse mode desert dust aerosols often mix with fine mode pollution aerosols largely produced by the petroleum industry. Aerosol loading was relatively high with 2-month averages of aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 500 nm (t a500) ranging from 0.40 to 0.53. A higher fine mode fraction of AOD was observed over Arabian Gulf island sites with Angstrom exponent at 440–870 nm (a440 – 870) of 0.77 as compared to an average of 0.64 over coastal sites and 0.50–0.57 at inland desert sites. During pollution events with a440 – 870 > 1 the retrieved fine mode radius was larger over an island site than a desert site probably because of hygroscopic growth over the humid marine environment. For these same pollution cases, single scattering albedo (wo) at all wavelengths was 0.03 higher (less absorption) over the marine environment than over the desert, also consistent with aerosol humidification growth. At an inland desert location, the wo at 440 nm remained relatively constant as Angstrom exponent varied since the fine mode pollution and coarse mode dust were both strong absorbers at short wavelengths. However, at longer wavelengths (675–1020 nm) the dust was much less absorbing than the pollution resulting in dynamic wo as a function of a440 – 870.

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