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