Marine aerosol distribution and variability over the pristine Southern Indian Ocean

Mallet, Paul-Étienne ; Pujol, Olivier ; Brioude, Jérôme ; Evan, Stéphanie ; Jensen, Andrew

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This paper presents an 8-year (2005-2012 inclusive) study of the marine aerosol distribution and variability over the Southern Indian Ocean, precisely in the area which has been identified as one of the most pristine regions of the globe. A large dataset consisting of satellite data (POLDER, CALIOP), AERONET measurements at Saint-Denis (French Réunion Island) and model reanalysis (MACC), has been used. In spite of a positive bias of about 0.05 between the (aerosol optical depth) given by POLDER and MACC on one hand and the measured by AERONET on the other, consistent results for aerosol distribution and variability over the area considered have been obtained. First, aerosols are mainly confined below asl (above sea level) and are dominated by sea salt, especially in the center of the area of interest, with . This zone is the most pristine and is associated with the position of the Mascarene anticyclone. There, the direct radiative effect is assessed around at the top of the atmosphere and probability density functions of the s are leptokurtic lognormal functions without any significant seasonal variation. It is also suggested that the Madden-Jullian oscillation impacts sea salt emissions in the northern part of the area considered by modifying the state of the ocean surface. Finally, this area is surrounded in the northeast and the southwest by seasonal Australian and South African intrusions ; throughout the year, the ITCZ seems to limit continental contaminations from Asia. Due to the long period of time considered (almost a decade), this paper completes and strengthens results of studies based on observations performed during previous specific field campaigns.

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