Role of spheroidal particles in closure studies for aerosol microphysical–optical properties
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AuthorSorribas, M.; Olmo Reyes, Francisco Javier; Quirantes Sierra, Arturo; Lyamani, H.; Gil-Ojeda, M.; Alados-Arboledas, Lucas; Horvath, H.
Royal Meteorological Society; Wiley
Atmospheric aerosolSpheroidal particlesSpherical particlesAerosol microphysical propertiesAerosol optical properties
Sorribas, M.; et al. Role of spheroidal particles in closure studies for aerosol microphysical-optical properties. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 141(692): 2700-2707 (2015). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/48632]
SponsorshipM. Sorribas thanks MINECO for the award of a postdoctoral grant (Juan de la Cierva).; This work was partially supported by the Andalusian Regional Government through projects P10-RNM-6299 and P12-RNM-2409, by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology through projects CGL2010-18782, CGL2011-24891/CLI and CGL2013-45410-R.; EU through ACTRIS project (EU INFRA-2010-1.1.16-262254).
A study has been carried out to assess the discrepancies between computed and observed aerosol scattering and backscattering properties in the atmosphere. The goals were: (i) to analyse the uncertainty associated with computed optical properties when spherical and spheroidal approximations are used, and (ii) to estimate nephelometry errors due to angular truncation and non-Lambertian illumination of the light source in terms of size range, particle shape and aerosol chemical compounds. Mie and T-matrix theories were used for computing light optical properties for spherical and spheroidal particles, respectively, from observed particle size distributions. The scattering coefficient of the fine mode was not much influenced by the particle shape. However, computed backscattering values underestimated the observed values by ∼15%. For the coarse mode, the spheroidal approximation yielded better results than that for spherical particles, especially for backscattering properties. Even after applying the spheroidal approximation, computed scattering and backscattering values within the coarse mode underestimated the observed values by ∼49% and ∼11%, respectively. The angular correction most widely used to correct the nephelometer data was discussed to explore its uncertainty. In the case of the scattering properties within the coarse mode, the change of the computed optical parameter is ∼+8% and for the scattering and backscattering values within the fine mode it is lower than ∼±4% for spherical and spheroidal particles. Additionally, if the spheroidal particles are used to evaluate the aerosol optical properties, the correction must be reconsidered with the aim of reducing the uncertainty found for scattering within the coarse mode. This is recommended for sites with desert dust influence; then the deviation of the computed scattering can be up to 13%.