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Optical and Physical Properties of Atmospheric Aerosols over the Bay of Bengal during ICARB

Nair, Vijayakumar S and Moorthy, K Krishna and Babu, S Suresh and Satheesh, SK (2009) Optical and Physical Properties of Atmospheric Aerosols over the Bay of Bengal during ICARB. In: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 66 (9). pp. 2640-2658.

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Abstract

Simultaneous and collocated measurements of total and hemispherical backscattering coefficients (σ and β, respectively) at three wavelengths, mass size distributions, and columnar spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD) were made onboard an extensive cruise experiment covering, for the first time, the entire Bay of Bengal (BoB) and northern Indian Ocean. The results are synthesized to understand the optical properties of aerosols in the marine atmospheric boundary layer and their dependence on the size distribution. The observations revealed distinct spatial and spectral variations of all the aerosol parameters over the BoB and the presence of strong latitudinal gradients. The size distributions varied spatially, with the majority of accumulation modes decreasing from north to south. The scattering coefficient decreased from very high values (resembling those reported for continental/urban locations) in the northern BoB to very low values seen over near-pristine environments in the southeastern BoB. The average mass scattering efficiency of BoB aerosols was found to be 2.66 ± 0.1 m2 g−1 at 550 nm. The spectral dependence of columnar AOD deviated significantly from that of the scattering coefficients in the northern BoB, implying vertical heterogeneity in the aerosol type in that region. However, a more homogeneous scenario was observed in the southern BoB. Simultaneous lidar and in situ measurements onboard an aircraft over the ocean revealed the presence of elevated aerosol layers of enhanced extinction at altitudes of 1 to 3 km with an offshore extent of a few hundred kilometers. Back-trajectory analyses showed these layers to be associated with advection from west Asia and western India. The large spatial variations and vertical heterogeneity in aerosol properties, revealed by the present study, need to be included in the regional radiative forcing over the Bay of Bengal.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Meteorological Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2009 08:26
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:46
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/23648

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