Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-39
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-39
 
10 Feb 2022
10 Feb 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Wintertime Saharan dust transport towards the Caribbean: airborne lidar observations during EUREC4A

Manuel Gutleben1,2, Silke Groß1, Christian Heske1, and Martin Wirth1 Manuel Gutleben et al.
  • 1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Meteorologisches Institut, Munich, Germany

Abstract. Wintertime Saharan dust plumes in the vicinity of Barbados are investigated by means of airborne lidar measurements. The measurements were conducted in the framework of the EUREC4A field experiment (Elucidating the Role of Cloud-Circulation Coupling in Climate) upstream the Caribbean island in January/February 2020. The combination of the water vapor differential absorption and high spectral resolution lidar techniques together with dropsonde measurements aboard the German HALO (High Altitude and Long-Range) research aircraft enable a detailed vertical and horizontal characterization of the measured dust plumes. In contrast to summertime dust transport, mineral dust aerosols were transported at lower altitudes and were always located below 3.5 km. Calculated backward trajectories affirm that the dust-laden layers have been transported in nearly constant low-level altitude over the North Atlantic Ocean. Only mixtures of dust-particles with other aerosol species, i.e. biomass burning aerosol from fires in West Africa and marine aerosol, were detected by the lidar. No pure mineral dust regimes were observed. Additionally, all the dust-laden airmasses that were observed during EUREC4A came along with enhanced water vapor concentrations compared to the free atmosphere above. Such enhancements have already been observed during summertime and were found to have a great impact on radiative transfer and atmospheric stability.

Manuel Gutleben et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-39', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Mar 2022
  • CC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-39', Albert Ansmann, 10 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-39', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Mar 2022
  • AC1: 'Authors response to discussion comments', Manuel Gutleben, 02 May 2022

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-39', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Mar 2022
  • CC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-39', Albert Ansmann, 10 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-39', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Mar 2022
  • AC1: 'Authors response to discussion comments', Manuel Gutleben, 02 May 2022

Manuel Gutleben et al.

Manuel Gutleben et al.

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Short summary
The main transportation route of Saharan mineral dust particles leads over the subtropical Atlantic Ocean and is subject to a seasonal variation. This study investigates the characteristics of wintertime transatlantic dust transport towards the Caribbean by means of airborne lidar measurements. It is found that dust particles are transported at low atmospheric altitudes (< 3.5 km) embedded in a relatively moist mixture with two other particle types, namely marine and biomass burning particles.
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