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A Long-term Record of Saharan Dust Aerosol Properties from TOMS Observations: Optical Depth and Single Scattering AlbedoThe interaction between the strong Rayleigh scattering in the near UV spectral region (330-380 nm) and the processes of aerosol absorption and scattering, produce a clear spectral signal in the upwelling radiance at the top of the atmosphere. This interaction is the basis of the TOMS (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer) aerosol retrieval technique that can be used for their characterization and to differentiate non-absorbing sulfates from strongly UV-absorbing aerosols such as mineral dust. For absorbing aerosols, the characterization is in terms of the optical depth and single scattering albedo with assumptions about the aerosol plume height. The results for non-absorbing aerosols are not dependent on plume height. Although iron compounds represent only between 5% to 8% of desert dust aerosol mass, hematite (Fe2O3) accounts for most of the near UV absorption. Because of the large ultraviolet absorption characteristic of hematite, the near UV method of aerosol sensing is especially suited for the detection and characterization of desert dust aerosols. Using the combined record of near UV measurements by the Nimbus7 (1978-1992) and Earth Probe (1996-present) TOMS instruments, a global longterm climatology of near UV optical depth and single scattering albedo has been produced. The multi-year long record of mineral aerosol properties over the area of influence of the Saharan desert, will be discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Torres, Omar (Maryland Univ. Baltimore County Catonsville, MD United States)
Bhartia, P. K. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Herman, J. R. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Einaudi, Franco
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2000
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Meeting Information
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting(San Francisco, CA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.