INDOEX aerosol: A comparison and summary of chemical, microphysical, and optical properties observed from land, ship, and aircraft



[1] The Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX) measurements on land, sea, and in the air were designed to provide complementary assessment of chemical, physical, and optical properties of the haze aerosol over the Indian Ocean. Differences in platform requirements and objectives resulted in diverse techniques, measurements, and analyses being employed. In order to best interpret the properties of the INDOEX aerosol, comparisons of data by platform, air mass origin, and light scattering intensity were undertaken. These revealed significant variability in platform averages of aerosol extensive properties (e.g., mass, light scattering, and absorption) but less variability in intensive properties (e.g., mass scattering efficiency, single scattering albedo, backscatter fraction, and Ångström exponent) and the ratios of constituents. In general, ratios of chemical species were found to show greater variability than properties of the size distributions or aerosol optical properties. Even so, at higher haze concentrations with higher scattering values, various determinations of the mass scattering efficiency (MSE) at 33% relative humidity converged on values of about 3.8 ± 0.3 m2 g−1, providing a firm constraint upon the description and modeling of haze optical properties. MSE values trended lower with more dilute haze but became more variable in clean air or regions of low concentrations. This cross-platform comparison resolved a number of measurement differences but also revealed that regional characterization from different platforms results in differences linked to variability in time and space. This emphasizes the need to combine such efforts with coordinated satellite and modeling studies able to characterize large-scale regional structure and variability. These comparisons also indicate that “closure” between chemical, microphysical, and optical properties across platforms to better than about 20% will require significant improvements in techniques, calibration procedures, and comparison efforts.