Articles | Volume 17, issue 9
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 5931–5946, 2017

Special issue: EARLINET aerosol profiling: contributions to atmospheric and...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 5931–5946, 2017

Research article 15 May 2017

Research article | 15 May 2017

Microphysical characterization of long-range transported biomass burning particles from North America at three EARLINET stations

Pablo Ortiz-Amezcua1,2, Juan Luis Guerrero-Rascado1,2, María José Granados-Muñoz1,3, José Antonio Benavent-Oltra1,2, Christine Böckmann4, Stefanos Samaras4, Iwona S. Stachlewska5, Łucja Janicka5, Holger Baars6, Stephanie Bohlmann6, and Lucas Alados-Arboledas1,2 Pablo Ortiz-Amezcua et al.
  • 1Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research (IISTA-CEAMA), 18006, Granada, Spain
  • 2Department of Applied Physics, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
  • 3NASA/JPL/California Institute of Technology, Wrightwood, CA, USA
  • 4Institute of Mathematics, Potsdam University, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
  • 5Institute of Geophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw (IGFUW), 02-093 Warsaw, Poland
  • 6Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, 04318 Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. Strong events of long-range transported biomass burning aerosol were detected during July 2013 at three EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network) stations, namely Granada (Spain), Leipzig (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland). Satellite observations from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) and CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) instruments, as well as modeling tools such as HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) and NAAPS (Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System), have been used to estimate the sources and transport paths of those North American forest fire smoke particles. A multiwavelength Raman lidar technique was applied to obtain vertically resolved particle optical properties, and further inversion of those properties with a regularization algorithm allowed for retrieving microphysical information on the studied particles. The results highlight the presence of smoke layers of 1–2 km thickness, located at about 5 km a.s.l. altitude over Granada and Leipzig and around 2.5 km a.s.l. at Warsaw. These layers were intense, as they accounted for more than 30 % of the total AOD (aerosol optical depth) in all cases, and presented optical and microphysical features typical for different aging degrees: color ratio of lidar ratios (LR532 ∕ LR355) around 2, α-related ångström exponents of less than 1, effective radii of 0.3 µm and large values of single scattering albedos (SSA), nearly spectrally independent. The intensive microphysical properties were compared with columnar retrievals form co-located AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network) stations. The intensity of the layers was also characterized in terms of particle volume concentration, and then an experimental relationship between this magnitude and the particle extinction coefficient was established.

Short summary
Strong events of biomass burning aerosol transported from North American forest fires were detected during July 2013 at three European stations from EARLINET. Satellite observations and models were used to estimate the smoke sources and transport paths. Using lidar techniques and regularization algorithms, the aerosol layers were optically and microphysically characterized, finding some common features among the events, concerning the similar aging processes undergone by the particles.
Final-revised paper