Geophysical Research Letters

Contribution of sea-salt to aerosol optical depth over the Arabian Sea derived from MODIS observations



[1] Making use of aerosol optical depths (AOD) derived from MODIS (onboard TERRA satellite) and winds from NCEP, and the fact that sea-salt optical depth over ocean is determined primarily by sea-surface wind speed, we examine the contribution of sea-salt to the composite aerosol optical depth (AOD) over Arabian Sea (AS), by developing empirical models for characterizing wind-speed dependence of sea-salt optical depth. We show that at high wind speeds, sea-salt contributes 81% to the coarse mode and 42% to the composite AOD in the southern AS. In contrast to this, over the northern AS, share of sea-salt to coarse mode and composite optical depth is only 35% and 16% respectively. Comparison of the sea-salt optical depth and coarse mode optical depth (MODIS) showed excellent agreement. The sea-salt optical depth over AS at moderate to high wind speed is comparable to the anthropogenic AOD reported for this region during winter.