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Volume 18, issue 5
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 3677-3699, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-3677-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Special issue: CHemistry and AeRosols Mediterranean EXperiments (ChArMEx)...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 3677-3699, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-3677-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Mar 2018

Research article | 13 Mar 2018

In situ measurements of desert dust particles above the western Mediterranean Sea with the balloon-borne Light Optical Aerosol Counter/sizer (LOAC) during the ChArMEx campaign of summer 2013

Jean-Baptiste Renard1, François Dulac2, Pierre Durand3, Quentin Bourgeois4, Cyrielle Denjean5,a, Damien Vignelles1, Benoit Couté1, Matthieu Jeannot1,b, Nicolas Verdier5, and Marc Mallet3,a Jean-Baptiste Renard et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace (LPC2E), UMR CNRS-Université d'Orléans, 3A avenue de la recherche scientifique, Orléans, France
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), UMR CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, IPSL, Université Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay 701, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3Laboratoire d'Aérologie, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UT3, Toulouse, France
  • 4Department of Meteorology and Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), 18 Avenue Edouard Belin, Toulouse, France
  • anow at: Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM), UMR 3589 Météo-France-CNRS, OMP, Météo-France, Toulouse, France
  • bnow at: MeteoModem company, Chemin du Moulin, Ury, France

Abstract. Mineral dust from arid areas is a major component of global aerosol and has strong interactions with climate and biogeochemistry. As part of the Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment (ChArMEx) to investigate atmospheric chemistry and its impacts in the Mediterranean region, an intensive field campaign was performed from mid-June to early August 2013 in the western basin including in situ balloon-borne aerosol measurements with the light optical aerosol counter (LOAC). LOAC is a counter/sizer that provides the aerosol concentrations in 19 size classes between 0.2 and 100µm, and an indication of the nature of the particles based on dual-angle scattering measurements. A total of 27 LOAC flights were conducted mainly from Minorca Island (Balearic Islands, Spain) but also from Ile du Levant off Hyères city (SE France) under 17 light dilatable balloons (meteorological sounding balloons) and 10 boundary layer pressurised balloons (quasi-Lagrangian balloons). The purpose was to document the vertical extent of the plume and the time evolution of the concentrations at constant altitude (air density) by in situ observations. LOAC measurements are in agreement with ground-based measurements (lidar, photometer), aircraft measurements (counters), and satellite measurements (CALIOP) in the case of fair spatial and temporal coincidences. LOAC has often detected three modes in the dust particle volume size distributions fitted by lognormal laws at roughly 0.2, 4 and 30µm in modal diameter. Thanks to the high sensitivity of LOAC, particles larger than 40µm were observed, with concentrations up to about 10−4cm−3. Such large particles were lifted several days before and their persistence after transport over long distances is in conflict with calculations of dust sedimentation. We did not observe any significant evolution of the size distribution during the transport from quasi-Lagrangian flights, even for the longest ones ( ∼ 1 day). Finally, the presence of charged particles is inferred from the LOAC measurements and we speculate that electrical forces might counteract gravitational settling of the coarse particles.

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Short summary
A campaign was performed in the summer of 2013 above the Mediterranean basin, including in situ counting balloon-borne aerosol measurements (LOAC), for the detection of mineral dust. Three modes in the dust particle volume size distributions were detected, at roughly 0.2, 4, and 30 mm. Particles larger than 40 mm were often observed. They were lifted several days before and their persistence after transport over long distances is in conflict with dust sedimentation calculations.
A campaign was performed in the summer of 2013 above the Mediterranean basin, including in situ...
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