Spectral absorption of solar radiation by aerosols during ACE-Asia



[1] As part of the Asian Pacific Regional Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-Asia), the upward and downward spectral solar radiant fluxes were measured with the Spectral Solar Flux Radiometer (SSFR), and the aerosol optical depth was measured with the Ames Airborne Tracking Sunphotometer (AATS-14) aboard the Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) Twin Otter aircraft. In this paper, we examine the data obtained for two cases: a moderately thick aerosol layer, 12 April, and a relatively thin aerosol case, 16 April 2001. On both days, the Twin Otter flew vertical profiles in the Korean Strait southeast of Gosan Island. For both days we determine the aerosol spectral absorption of the layer and estimate the spectral aerosol absorption optical depth and single-scattering albedo. The results for 12 April show that the single-scattering albedo increases with wavelength from 0.8 at 400 nm to 0.95 at 900 nm and remains essentially constant from 950 to 1700 nm. On 16 April the amount of aerosol absorption was very low; however, the aerosol single-scattering albedo appears to decrease slightly with wavelength in the visible region. We interpret these results in light of the two absorbing aerosol species observed during the ACE-Asia study: mineral dust and black carbon. The results for 12 April are indicative of a mineral dust-black carbon mixture. The 16 April results are possibly caused by black carbon mixed with nonabsorbing pollution aerosols. For the 12 April case we attempt to estimate the relative contributions of the black carbon particles and the mineral dust particles. We compare our results with other estimates of the aerosol properties from a Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of View Sensor (SeaWiFS) satellite analysis and aerosol measurements made aboard the Twin Otter, aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ronald H. Brown ship, and at ground sites in Gosan and Japan. The results indicate a relatively complicated aerosol mixture of both industrial pollution (including black carbon) and mineral dust. This underscores the need for careful measurements and analysis to separate out the absorption effects of mineral dust and black carbon in the east Asia region.