Articles | Volume 16, issue 22
Research article
28 Nov 2016
Research article |  | 28 Nov 2016

Regional and local variations in atmospheric aerosols using ground-based sun photometry during Distributed Regional Aerosol Gridded Observation Networks (DRAGON) in 2012

Itaru Sano, Sonoyo Mukai, Makiko Nakata, and Brent N. Holben

Abstract. Aerosol mass concentrations are affected by local emissions as well as long-range transboundary (LRT) aerosols. This work investigates regional and local variations of aerosols based on Distributed Regional Aerosol Gridded Observation Networks (DRAGON). We constructed DRAGON-Japan and DRAGON-Osaka in spring of 2012. The former network covers almost all of Japan in order to obtain aerosol information in regional scale over Japanese islands. It was determined from the DRAGON-Japan campaign that the values of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) decrease from west to east during an aerosol episode. In fact, the highest AOT was recorded at Fukue Island at the western end of the network, and the value was much higher than that of urban areas. The latter network (DRAGON-Osaka) was set as a dense instrument network in the megalopolis of Osaka, with a population of 12 million, to better understand local aerosol dynamics in urban areas.

AOT was further measured with a mobile sun photometer attached to a car. This transect information showed that aerosol concentrations rapidly changed in time and space together when most of the Osaka area was covered with moderate LRT aerosols. The combined use of the dense instrument network (DRAGON-Osaka) and high-frequency measurements provides the motion of aerosol advection, which coincides with the wind vector around the layer between 700 and 850 hPa as provided by the reanalysis data of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).

Short summary
We investigated the regional and local variation of aerosols based on large and small gridded sun photometer networks. The results show that long-range transboundary aerosols strongly affect aerosol condition over Japan even at a small island in the East China Sea. A dense instrument network (DRAGON) reveals the magnitude and variation of local aerosols.
Final-revised paper