National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2004

Aerosol optical properties measured on board the Ronald H. Brown during ACE-Asia as a function of aerosol chemical composition and source region

Quinn, P.K., D.J. Coffman, T.S. Bates, E.J. Welton, D.S. Covert, T.L. Miller, J.E. Johnson, S. Maria, L. Russell, R. Arimoto, C.M. Carrico, M.J. Rood, and J. Anderson

J. Geophys. Res., 109(D19), D19S01, doi: 10.1029/2003JD004010 (2004)

During the Asian Pacific Regional Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-Asia) intensive field campaign conducted in the spring of 2001, aerosol properties were measured on board the R/V Ronald H. Brown to study the effects of the Asian aerosol on atmospheric chemistry and climate in downwind regions. Aerosol properties measured in the marine boundary layer included chemical composition; number size distribution; and light scattering, hemispheric backscattering, and absorption coefficients. In addition, optical depth and vertical profiles of aerosol 180 backscatter were measured. Aerosol within the ACE-Asia study region was found to be a complex mixture resulting from marine, pollution, volcanic, and dust sources. Presented here as a function of air mass source region are the mass fractions of the dominant aerosol chemical components, the fraction of the scattering measured at the surface due to each component, mass scattering efficiencies of the individual components, aerosol scattering and absorption coefficients, single scattering albedo, ngström exponents, optical depth, and vertical profiles of aerosol extinction. All results, except aerosol optical depth and the vertical profiles of aerosol extinction, are reported at a relative humidity of 55 ± 5%. An overdetermined data set was collected so that measured and calculated aerosol properties could be compared, internal consistency in the data set could be assessed, and sources of uncertainty could be identified. By adjusting the measured size distribution to take into account nonsphericity of the dust aerosol, calculated and measured aerosol mass and scattering coefficients agreed within overall experimental uncertainties. Differences between measured and calculated aerosol absorption coefficients were not within reasonable uncertainty limits, however, and may indicate the inability of Mie theory and the assumption of internally mixed homogeneous spheres to predict absorption by the ACE-Asia aerosol. Mass scattering efficiencies of non-sea-salt sulfate aerosol, sea salt, submicron particulate organic matter, and dust found for the ACE-Asia aerosol are comparable to values estimated for ACE 1, Aerosols99, and the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX). Unique to the ACE-Asia aerosol were the large mass fractions of dust, the dominance of dust in controlling the aerosol optical properties, and the interaction of dust with soot aerosol.

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