Articles | Volume 11, issue 20
Research article
28 Oct 2011
Research article |  | 28 Oct 2011

Dust optical properties over North Africa and Arabian Peninsula derived from the AERONET dataset

D. Kim, M. Chin, H. Yu, T. F. Eck, A. Sinyuk, A. Smirnov, and B. N. Holben

Abstract. Dust optical properties over North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula are extracted from the quality assured multi-year datasets obtained at 14 sites of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). We select the data with (a) large aerosol optical depth (AOD ≥ 0.4 at 440 nm) and (b) small Ångström exponent (Åext ≤ 0.2) for retaining high accuracy and reducing interference of non-dust aerosols. The result indicates that the major fraction of high aerosol optical depth days are dominated by dust over these sites even though it varies depending on location and time. We have found that the annual mean and standard deviation of single scattering albedo, asymmetry parameter, real refractive index, and imaginary refractive index for Saharan and Arabian desert dust is 0.944 ± 0.005, 0.752 ± 0.014, 1.498 ± 0.032, and 0.0024 ± 0.0034 at 550 nm wavelength, respectively. Dust aerosol selected by this method is less absorbing than the previously reported values over these sites. The weaker absorption of dust from this study is consistent with the studies using remote sensing techniques from satellite. These results can help to constrain uncertainties in estimating global dust shortwave radiative forcing.

Final-revised paper