Origin and pathways of the mineral dust transport to two Spanish EARLINET sites: Effect on the observed columnar and range-resolved dust optical properties
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SponsorshipAndalusia Regional Government through the project P12-RNM-2409; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the project CGL2013-45410-R
In this paper, is presented a method for estimation of the effect of the transport process to aerosol optical properties. Aerosol optical data retrieved by lidars and sun-photometer measurements, are applied to Saharan dust events observed simultaneously at the two EARLINET/AERONET sites of Barcelona and Granada during the periods of June–September of 2012 and 2013. For this purpose, elastic lidar profiles and sun-photometer columnar retrievals are analyzed together with satellite observations and dust forecast models. Granada presents more than twice Saharan dust outbreaks compared to Barcelona. The scenarios favoring the Saharan dust outbreaks are identified in both places. The mineral dust originating in the Sahara region and arriving at both stations is usually transport wither over the Atlas Mountains or through an Atlantic pathway. Analyses of dust events affecting both stations reveal how differences in the transport process lead to differences in the aerosol optical properties measured at each station. Mean dust related Ångström exponent is 1.8 times higher in Barcelona than in Granada. This difference is a result of the additional contribution of anthropogenic aerosol, mainly in the aerosol fine mode, during the transport of the mineral dust plume over the Iberian Peninsula.