Analysis of the Transport of Aerosols over the North Tropical Atlantic Ocean Using Time Series of POLDER/PARASOL Satellite Data

Fréville, Hélène ; Chami, Malik ; Mallet, Marc

Année de publication
<p align=justify>The time series of total, fine and coarse POLAC/PARASOL aerosol optical depth (AOD) satellite products (2005-2013) processed by the POLAC algorithm are examined to investigate the transport of aerosols over the North Tropical Atlantic Ocean, a region that is characterized by significant dust aerosols events. First, the comparison of satellite observations with ground-based measurements acquired by AERONET ground-based measurements shows a satisfactory consistency for both total AOD and coarse mode AOD (i.e., correlation coefficients of 0.75 and bias ranging from −0.03 to 0.03), thus confirming the robustness and performance of POLAC/PARASOL data to investigate the spatio-temporal variability of the aerosols over the study area. Regarding fine mode aerosol, POLAC/PARASOL data present a lower performance with correlation coefficient ranging from 0.37 to 0.73. Second, the analysis of POLAC/PARASOL aerosol climatology reveals a high contribution of the coarse mode of aerosols ( AOD c between 0.1 and 0.4) at long distance from the African sources, confirming previous studies related to dust transport. The POLAC/PARASOL data were also compared with aerosol data obtained over the North Tropical Atlantic Ocean from MACC and MERRA-2 reanalyses. It is observed that the total AOD is underestimated in both reanalysis with a negative bias reaching −0.2. In summary, our results thus suggest that satellite POLAC/PARASOL observations of fine and coarse modes of aerosols could provide additional constraints useful to improve the quantification of the dust direct radiative forcing on a regional scale but also the biogeochemical processes such as nutrient supply to the surface waters.</p>
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