Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 13853-13884, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-13853-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 Nov 2016
Spatiotemporal variability and contribution of different aerosol types to the aerosol optical depth over the Eastern Mediterranean
Aristeidis K. Georgoulias1,2,3,a, Georgia Alexandri4,5, Konstantinos A. Kourtidis5, Jos Lelieveld3,6, Prodromos Zanis1, Ulrich Pöschl2, Robert Levy7, Vassilis Amiridis8, Eleni Marinou4,8, and Athanasios Tsikerdekis1 1Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
3Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
4Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Physics Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
5Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution and Pollution Control Engineering of Atmospheric Pollutants, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67100 Xanthi, Greece
6Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
7Earth Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
8Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Application and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Athens, Greece
acurrent address: Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution and Pollution Control Engineering of Atmospheric Pollutants, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67100 Xanthi, Greece
Abstract. This study characterizes the spatiotemporal variability and relative contribution of different types of aerosols to the aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the Eastern Mediterranean as derived from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) Terra (March 2000–December 2012) and Aqua (July 2002–December 2012) satellite instruments. For this purpose, a 0.1° × 0.1° gridded MODIS dataset was compiled and validated against sun photometric observations from the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET). The high spatial resolution and long temporal coverage of the dataset allows for the determination of local hot spots like megacities, medium-sized cities, industrial zones and power plant complexes, seasonal variabilities and decadal averages. The average AOD at 550 nm (AOD550) for the entire region is ∼ 0.22 ± 0.19, with maximum values in summer and seasonal variabilities that can be attributed to precipitation, photochemical production of secondary organic aerosols, transport of pollution and smoke from biomass burning in central and eastern Europe and transport of dust from the Sahara and the Middle East. The MODIS data were analyzed together with data from other satellite sensors, reanalysis projects and a chemistry–aerosol-transport model using an optimized algorithm tailored for the region and capable of estimating the contribution of different aerosol types to the total AOD550. The spatial and temporal variability of anthropogenic, dust and fine-mode natural aerosols over land and anthropogenic, dust and marine aerosols over the sea is examined. The relative contribution of the different aerosol types to the total AOD550 exhibits a low/high seasonal variability over land/sea areas, respectively. Overall, anthropogenic aerosols, dust and fine-mode natural aerosols account for ∼ 51, ∼ 34 and ∼ 15 % of the total AOD550 over land, while, anthropogenic aerosols, dust and marine aerosols account ∼ 40, ∼ 34 and ∼ 26 % of the total AOD550 over the sea, based on MODIS Terra and Aqua observations.

Citation: Georgoulias, A. K., Alexandri, G., Kourtidis, K. A., Lelieveld, J., Zanis, P., Pöschl, U., Levy, R., Amiridis, V., Marinou, E., and Tsikerdekis, A.: Spatiotemporal variability and contribution of different aerosol types to the aerosol optical depth over the Eastern Mediterranean, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 13853-13884, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-13853-2016, 2016.
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In this work, single pixel observations from MODIS Terra and Aqua are analyzed together with data from other satellite sensors, reanalysis projects and a chemistry–aerosol-transport model to study the spatiotemporal variability of different aerosol types. The results are in accordance with previous works and are a good reference for future studies in the area focusing on aerosols, clouds, radiation and the effects of particle pollution on human health.
In this work, single pixel observations from MODIS Terra and Aqua are analyzed together with...
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