Springtime aerosol load as observed from ground-based and airborne lidars over northern Norway

Abstract : To investigate the origin of springtime aerosols in the Arctic region we performed ground-based and airborne 355nm Raman lidar observations in the north of Norway (Hammerfest). Two lidars were embedded (i) on an ultralight aircraft for vertical (nadir) or horizontal line-of-sight measurements and (ii) in an air-conditioned van on the ground for vertical (zenith) measurements. This field experiment was designed as part of the Pollution in the ARCtic System (PARCS) project of the French Arctic Initiative and took place from 13 to 26 May 2016. The consistency among lidar measurements is verified by comparing nadir, horizontal line of sight, and ground-based Raman lidar profiles. Dispersion of the order of 0.01km−1 is obtained among lidar-derived aerosol extinction coefficients at 355nm. The aerosol load measured in the first 3km of the troposphere remains low throughout the campaign, with aerosol optical thickness (AOT) of 0.1 at 355nm ( ∼ 0.05 at 550nm). The main contributors to the evolution of the aerosol load at low altitude prove to be one of the flares of the nearby Melkøya gas processing facility, the oceanic source, and the transport of aerosols from industrial sites in Russia. Moreover, ground-based lidar measurements allowed us to identify three cases of long-range aerosol transport (between 3 and 8km above the mean sea level). Using back trajectories computed with the Lagrangian model FLEXPART-WRF, these aerosol plumes are shown to be the result of the strong forest fires that occurred in the area of Fort McMurray, in Canada. They can at most double the AOT value over the Arctic area, with an anomaly of 0.1 on the AOT at 355nm.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 7:57:47 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 19, 2019 - 6:08:01 PM

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Patrick Chazette, Jean-Christophe Raut, Julien Totems. Springtime aerosol load as observed from ground-based and airborne lidars over northern Norway. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, European Geosciences Union, 2018, 18, pp.13075-13095. ⟨10.5194/acp-18-13075-2018⟩. ⟨insu-01808641⟩

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