Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-193
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-193

  03 Aug 2021

03 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Investigation of a Saharan dust plume in Western Europe by remote sensing and transport modelling

Hengheng Zhang1, Frank Wagner1,2, Harald Saathoff1, Heike Vogel1, Gholam Ali Hoshyaripour1, Vanessa Bachmann2, Jochen Förstner2, and Thomas Leisner1 Hengheng Zhang et al.
  • 1Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, 76344, Germany
  • 2Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Frankfurter Str. 135, 63067 Offenbach am Main, Germany

Abstract. The evolution and the properties of a Saharan dust plume were studied near the city of Karlsruhe in south-west Germany (8.4298° E, 49.0953° N) from April 7 to 9, 2018 combining a scanning LIDAR (90°, 30°), a vertical LIDAR (90°), a sun photometer, and the transport model ICON-ART. The LIDAR measurements show that the dust particles had backscatter coefficients of 0.86 ± 0.14 Mm−1 Sr−1, an extinction coefficient of 40 ± 0.8 Mm−1, a LIDAR ratio of 46 ± 5 sr, and a particle depolarization ratio of 0.33 ± 0.07. These values are in good agreement with those obtained in previous studies of Saharan dust plumes in Western Europe. Compared to the remote sensing measurements, the model simulation predicts the plume arrival time, its layer height, and structure very well but overestimates the backscatter coefficient. In this manuscript, we discuss the complementarity and advantages of the different measurement methods as well model simulations to predict Saharan dust plumes. Main conclusions are that the ICON-ART model can predict the structure of Saharan dust plumes very well but overestimates the backscatter coefficients by a factor of 2.2 ± 0.16 at 355 nm and underestimates the aerosol optical depth (AOD) by a factor of 1.5 ± 0.11 at 340 nm for this Saharan dust plume event. Employing a scanning aerosol LIDAR allows determining backscatter coefficient, particle depolarization ratio and especially LIDAR ratio of Saharan dust both for daytime and nighttime independently. Combining LIDAR with sun photometer data allows constraining aerosol optical depth in different ways and determining column integrated LIDAR ratios. These comprehensive datasets allow for a better understanding of Saharan dust plumes in Western Europe.

Hengheng Zhang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-193', Aristeidis Georgoulias, 04 Aug 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-193', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-193', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 Sep 2021

Hengheng Zhang et al.

Hengheng Zhang et al.

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Short summary
The evolution and the properties of Saharan dust plume were characterized by LIDARs, a sun photometer, and a regional transport model. Comparison between LIDAR measurements, sun photometer and ICON-ART predictions shows a good agreement for dust arrival time, dust layer height, and dust structure but also that the model overestimates the backscatter coefficients by a factor of (2.2 ± 0.16) and underestimate aerosol optical depth by a factor of (1.5 ± 0.11).