A long Saharan dust event over the western Mediterrranean: Lidar, Sun photometer observations and regional dust modelling.
Rights accessOpen Access
A long Saharan dust event affected the western Mediterranean in the period 12– 28 June 2002. Dust was present mainly between 1- and 5-km height affecting most parts of the Iberian Peninsula and reaching western/central Europe. Intensive backscatter lidar observations over Barcelona (Spain) and Sun photometer data from two stations (El Arenosillo, Spain, and Avignon, France) are used to evaluate different configurations the Dust Regional Atmospheric Modeling (DREAM) system. DREAM currently operates dust forecasts over the Mediterranean region (http://www.bsc.es/projects/earthscience/ DREAM/) considering four particle size bins while only the first two are relevant for long-range transport analysis since their life time is larger than 12 hours. A more detailed bin method is implemented, and two different dust distributions at sources are compared to the operational version. Evaluations are performed at two wavelengths (532 and 1064 nm). The dust horizontal and vertical structure simulated by DREAM shows very good qualitative agreement when compared to SeaWIFS satellite images and lidar height-time displays over Barcelona. When evaluating the modeled aerosol optical depth (AOD) against Sun photometer data, significant improvements are achieved with the use of the new detailed bin method. In general, the model underpredicts the AOD for increasing A ° ngstro¨m exponents because of the influence of anthropogenic pollution in the boundary layer. In fact, the modeled AOD is highly anticorrelated with the observed A ° ngstro¨m exponents. Avignon shows higher influence of small anthropogenic aerosols which explains the better results of the model at the wavelength of 1064 nm over this location. The uncertainties of backscatter lidar inversions (20–30%) are in the same order of magnitude as the differences between the model experiments. Better model results are obtained when comparing to lidar because most of the anthropogenic effect is removed.
CitationC. Pérez, S. Nickovic, J.M. Baldasano, M. Sicard, F. Rocadenbosch, V.E. Cachorro.. (2006). A long Saharan dust event over the western Mediterrranean: Lidar, Sun photometer observations and regional dust modelling. Journal of geophysical research, 111 (D15214): 1-16. ISSN:0148-0227