Natural Sources Aerosol Remote Monitoring

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Aerosols".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 7066

Special Issue Editors


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Department of Physics, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, 80126 Naples, Italy
Interests: Lidar; remote sensing; environmental physics; atmospheric aerosol; climate change
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CommSensLab, Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: atmospheric lidar; photometers; atmospheric aerosols; atmospheric remote sensing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Atmospheric aerosol particles from both anthropogenic and natural sources represent major uncertainties in our knowledge of atmospheric processes and of the Earth radiative balance. They also play a strong role in the dynamics of climate change and in human health and safety.

Although there is a strong interest in the study of anthropic and natural components, the weight of the latter is still poorly investigated, which causes an unsatisfactory understanding of the interactions of natural aerosols in the terrestrial ecosystem and in their radiative effects. In particular, natural sources have a high contribution to background aerosol concentrations, and therefore, their accurate quantification is essential for the study of the mechanisms, interactions and impact of anthropogenic aerosols within the Earth system. In addition, this background is variable not only due to the uncertainties introduced by the unpredictability of natural events such as volcanic eruptions, desert sand transport, etc., but also as a consequence of human intervention, which is contributing to an increase not only in anthropogenic aerosols but also those of natural origin.

This Special Issue aims to combine the contributions of various studies, which, through the use of remote sensing techniques, investigate aerosols of natural origin and increase knowledge about their properties and mechanisms.

Dr. Alessia Sannino
Dr. Alejandro Rodríguez-Gómez
Dr. Simone Lolli
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • remote sensing
  • natural aerosols
  • climate change
  • atmospheric aerosols
  • desert dust
  • vulcanic ash
  • pollen
  • sea salt
  • marine aerosol
  • biomass burning

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 22772 KiB  
Article
Tracking the Transport of SO2 and Sulphate Aerosols from the Tonga Volcanic Eruption to South Africa
by Lerato Shikwambana, Venkataraman Sivakumar and Kanya Xongo
Atmosphere 2023, 14(10), 1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14101556 - 12 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1095
Abstract
During a volcanic eruption, copious amounts of volcanic gas, aerosol droplets, and ash are released into the stratosphere, potentially impacting radiative feedback. One of the most significant volcanic gases emitted is sulphur dioxide, which can travel long distances and impact regions far from [...] Read more.
During a volcanic eruption, copious amounts of volcanic gas, aerosol droplets, and ash are released into the stratosphere, potentially impacting radiative feedback. One of the most significant volcanic gases emitted is sulphur dioxide, which can travel long distances and impact regions far from the source. This study aimed to investigate the transport of sulphur dioxide and sulphate aerosols from the Tonga volcanic eruption event, which occurred from the 13th to the 15th of January 2022. Various datasets, including Sentinel-5 Precursor (TROPOMI), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS), were utilized to observe the transport of these constituents. The TROPOMI data revealed westward-traveling SO2 plumes over Australia and the Indian Ocean towards Africa, eventually reaching the Republic of South Africa (RSA), as confirmed by ground-based monitoring stations of the South African Air Quality Information System (SAAQIS). Moreover, the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) demonstrated sulphate aerosols at heights ranging from 18 to 28 km with a plume thickness of 1 to 4 km. The results of this study demonstrate that multiple remote sensing datasets can effectively investigate the dispersion and long-range transport of volcanic constituents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Sources Aerosol Remote Monitoring)
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18 pages, 7358 KiB  
Article
Study on the Optical–Physical Properties of Aerosol Layers in Africa Based on a Laser Satellite
by Miao Zhang, Pengyu Mu, Xin Chen, Di Wu, Fengxian Lu, Pengcheng Qi, Larry Bailian Li and Wei Gong
Atmosphere 2023, 14(10), 1524; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14101524 - 30 Sep 2023
Viewed by 945
Abstract
Atmospheric aerosols have important effects on the environment and human health. In this study, we analyzed the atmospheric aerosol layers’ optical and physical properties over Africa utilizing CALIPSO level 2 products from 2007 to 2019. Interannual and seasonal variations in aerosol optical parameters [...] Read more.
Atmospheric aerosols have important effects on the environment and human health. In this study, we analyzed the atmospheric aerosol layers’ optical and physical properties over Africa utilizing CALIPSO level 2 products from 2007 to 2019. Interannual and seasonal variations in aerosol optical parameters were studied: the lowest aerosol layer (AODL), the base height of the lowest aerosol layer (BL), the top height of the lowest aerosol layer (HL), the top height of the highest aerosol layer (HH), the volumetric depolarization ratio of the lowest aerosol layer (DRL), the color ratio of the lowest aerosol layer (CRL), the total AOD of all aerosol layers (AODT), the number of aerosol feature layers (N), the thickness of the lowest aerosol layer (TL), and the AOD proportion of the lowest aerosol layer (PAODL). The annual mean AODT was slightly higher in southern Africa than in northern Africa. HL and HH had strongly positive correlations with landform elevations. However, HL and HH were greater in northern Africa than in southern Africa from March to August. The reason could be that northern Africa is dominated by deserts with high temperatures and intense atmospheric vertical convections leading to dust layers existing in the upper air. PAODL values were lower in northern Africa (daytime: 71%; nighttime: 61%) than in southern Africa (daytime: 78%; nighttime: 69%), revealing that aerosol stratifications were more frequent in northern Africa than in southern Africa. DRL values were higher in northern Africa (daytime: 0.16; nighttime: 0.11) than in southern Africa (daytime: 0.07; nighttime: 0.05) indicating the predominance of non-spherical dust particles in northern Africa. This work can provide an important understanding of regional aerosol layers’ optical and physical properties to scientists and local environmental protection agencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Sources Aerosol Remote Monitoring)
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22 pages, 13445 KiB  
Article
Comparison of the Performance of the GRASP and MERRA2 Models in Reproducing Tropospheric Aerosol Layers
by Alnilam Fernandes, Artur Szkop and Aleksander Pietruczuk
Atmosphere 2023, 14(9), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14091409 - 07 Sep 2023
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Two approaches, based on Generalized Retrieval of Aerosol and Surface Properties (GRASP) and Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications version 2 (MERRA-2) models, are investigated for reproducing aerosol layers in the troposphere. The GRASP algorithm is supplied with synergistic LIDAR and sunphotometer [...] Read more.
Two approaches, based on Generalized Retrieval of Aerosol and Surface Properties (GRASP) and Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications version 2 (MERRA-2) models, are investigated for reproducing aerosol layers in the troposphere. The GRASP algorithm is supplied with synergistic LIDAR and sunphotometer measurements to obtain aerosol extinction profiles. MERRA-2 is an atmospheric reanalysis coupling model that includes an external mixture of sea salt, dust, organic carbon, black carbon, and sulfate aerosols. A data set from Racibórz observatory, obtained with LIDAR and a sunphotometer in the 2017–2020 period, is analysed with GRASP along with the closest grid point data given by MERRA-2. The models demonstrate satisfactory agreement, yet some discrepancies were observed, indicating the presence of biases. For vertically integrated profiles, the correlation coefficient (R) between aerosol optical thickness was calculated to be 0.84, indicating a strong linear relationship. The Pearson correlation coefficient calculated between profiles for the selected altitude sectors varies between 0.428 and 0.824, indicating moderate to good agreement at all altitudes. GRASP shows denser aerosol layers in the mid-troposphere, while MERRA-2 gives higher aerosol extinctions throughout the high troposphere to low stratosphere region. Moreover, GRASP does not provide vertical variability in the extinction profile near the ground, due to a lack of data in the LIDAR’s incomplete overlap range. Lastly, the aerosol layer identification and type recognition are validated with statistical analysis of air mass backward trajectories with endpoints spatially and temporally collocated with individual identified layers. These reveal potential source regions that are located within areas known to be significant sources for the different identified aerosol types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Sources Aerosol Remote Monitoring)
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18 pages, 4679 KiB  
Article
Coupling Coordination Degree of AOD and Air Pollutants in Shandong Province from 2015 to 2020
by Ping Wang, Qingxin Tang, Yuxin Zhu, Yaqian He, Quanzhou Yu, Tianquan Liang and Yuying Ran
Atmosphere 2023, 14(4), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14040654 - 30 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1339
Abstract
In order to reveal the correlation between aerosols and pollution indicators, the MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD) was used to investigate the distribution of AOD in 16 prefecture-level cities in Shandong Province from 2015 to 2020. This study quantitatively analyzed the coupling degree [...] Read more.
In order to reveal the correlation between aerosols and pollution indicators, the MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD) was used to investigate the distribution of AOD in 16 prefecture-level cities in Shandong Province from 2015 to 2020. This study quantitatively analyzed the coupling degree and the coupling coordination degree between AOD and pollution indicators based on the coupling coordination model. The results showed that: (1) The annual average AOD in Shandong Province showed a rapid downward trend with a mean value of 0.615. The seasonal AOD of Shandong Province and prefecture-level cities was characterized by spring and summer > autumn and winter. The distribution of AOD in Shandong Province showed a spatial pattern of high in the west and low in the east, and high in the surrounding area and low in the middle. The decreasing rate of AOD was high in the west and low in the east. (2) The annual average AOD and Air Quality Index (AQI) were in a highly coupled and coordinated state. Their spatial distribution pattern decreased from west to east. There were certain fluctuations with seasonal changes, with the largest fluctuation in winter. (3) Except for O3, the overall coupling and coordination level between AOD and each pollutant was relatively high. The coupling coordination effect was as follows: C (PM2.5, AOD) and C (PM10, AOD) > C (NO2, AOD) > C (SO2, AOD), and C (CO, AOD) > C (O3, AOD). Except for the O3, its distribution was characterized by highs in the west and lows in the east. The degree of coupling between each pollution indicator and the seasonal average AOD was high. The study showed that there was a high degree of coupling and coordination between pollutant concentration indicators and AOD, and remote sensing AOD data can be used as an effective supplement to regional pollutant monitoring indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Sources Aerosol Remote Monitoring)
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20 pages, 4340 KiB  
Article
Aerosol Characterization with Long-Term AERONET Sun-Photometer Measurements in the Naples Mediterranean Area
by Riccardo Damiano, Alessia Sannino, Salvatore Amoruso and Antonella Boselli
Atmosphere 2022, 13(12), 2078; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13122078 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1772
Abstract
We report on the characterization of columnar aerosol optical and microphysical properties in the Naples Mediterranean area over a period of five years by the ground-based sun–sky–lunar photometer operating at our observational station in the frame of the AERONET network. Statistical and climatological [...] Read more.
We report on the characterization of columnar aerosol optical and microphysical properties in the Naples Mediterranean area over a period of five years by the ground-based sun–sky–lunar photometer operating at our observational station in the frame of the AERONET network. Statistical and climatological analyses of daily mean values of aerosol optical depth at 440 nm (AOD440) and Ångström exponent at 440/870 nm (α440/870) allowed for highlighting their typical seasonal behavior. In particular, we observe higher mean values of the AOD440 during summer or spring, which are consistent with an increased frequency of both Saharan dust transport events and biomass burning episodes affecting the measurement area in these periods of the year. Conversely, α440/870 does not show any typical seasonal trend. In order to gain information on the different aerosol contributions along the atmospheric column, the frequency distributions of AOD440 and α440/870 were analyzed and fitted by a superposition of Gaussian functions. The most populated modes are centered at α440/870 = 1.26 ± 0.07 and AOD440 = 0.16 ± 0.01. These values are associated with continental polluted aerosol mixed with sea salt aerosol and correspond to the background conditions typically observed in clear atmospheric conditions. Daily size distributions averaged over each month highlight that the fine aerosol component always prevails over the coarse fraction, except for the few months in which Saharan dust events are particularly frequent. Finally, the mean value of the SSA at 440 nm resulted as 0.94 ± 0.05, while the refractive index real and imaginary part were 1.47 ± 0.07 and (6.5 ± 0.2) × 10−3, respectively. These values are in agreement with those observed in other Mediterranean sites located in Southern Italy, evidencing a rather characteristic feature of the geographical region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Sources Aerosol Remote Monitoring)
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