Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


Identifying chemical aerosol signatures using optical suborbital observations:...

Kacenelenbogen, M. S., Q. Tan, S. P. Burton, Otto Hasekamp, K. Froyd, Y. Shinozuka, A. Beyersdorf, L. Ziemba, K. L. Thornhill, J. Dibb, T. Shingler, A. Sorooshian, R. W. Espinosa, V. Martins, J. Jimenez-Palacios, Campuzano Jost, J. Schwarz, M. S. Johnson, J. Redemann, and G. Schuster (2022), Identifying chemical aerosol signatures using optical suborbital observations: how much can optical properties tell us about aerosol composition?, Atmos. Chem. Phys., doi:10.5194/acp-22-3713-2022.

Improvements in air quality and Earth’s climate predictions require improvements of the aerosol speciation in chemical transport models, using observational constraints. Aerosol speciation (e.g., organic aerosols, black carbon, sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, dust or sea salt) is typically determined using in situ instrumentation. Continuous, routine aerosol composition measurements from ground-based networks are not uniformly widespread over the globe. Satellites, on the other hand, can provide a maximum coverage of the horizontal and vertical atmosphere but observe aerosol optical properties (and not aerosol speciation) based on remote sensing instrumentation. Combinations of satellite-derived aerosol optical properties can inform on air mass aerosol types (AMTs). However, these AMTs are subjectively defined, might often be misclassified and are hard to relate to the critical parameters that need to be refined in models.

In this paper, we derive AMTs that are more directly related to sources and hence to speciation. They are defined, characterized and derived using simultaneous in situ gas-phase, chemical and optical instruments on the same aircraft during the Study of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds, and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4 RS, an airborne field campaign carried out over the US during the summer of 2013). We find distinct optical signatures for AMTs such as biomass burning (from agricultural or wildfires), biogenic and polluted dust. We find that all four AMTs, studied when prescribed using mostly airborne in situ gas measurements, can be successfully extracted from a few combinations of airborne in situ aerosol optical properties (e.g., extinction Ångström exponent, absorption Ångström exponent and real refractive index). However, we

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)