Aerosol and Clouds
Dust absorption over the “Great Indian Desert” inferred using ground-based and satellite remote sensing
Article first published online: 5 MAY 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 112, Issue D9, 16 May 2007
How to Cite
2007), Dust absorption over the “Great Indian Desert” inferred using ground-based and satellite remote sensing, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D09206, doi:10.1029/2006JD007690., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 5 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 5 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 DEC 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 2 NOV 2006
- Manuscript Received: 22 JUN 2006
- remote sensing;
- dust absorption
 Mineral dust is the single largest contributor of natural aerosols over land. Dust aerosols exhibit high variability in their radiative effects because their composition varies locally. This arises because of the regional distinctiveness of the soil characteristics as well as the accumulation of other aerosol species, such as black carbon, on dust while airborne. To accurately estimate the climate impact of dust, spatial and temporal distribution of its radiative properties are essential. However, this is poorly understood over many regions of the world, including the Indian region. In this paper, infrared (IR) radiance (10.5–12.5 μm) acquired from METEOSAT-5 satellite (∼5-km resolution) is used to retrieve dust aerosol characteristics over the “Great Indian Desert” and adjacent regions. The infrared radiance depression on account of the presence of dust in the atmosphere has been used as an index of dust load, called the Infrared Difference Dust Index (IDDI). Simultaneous, ground-based spectral optical depths estimated at visible and near-infrared wavelengths (using a multiwavelength solar radiometer) are used along with the IDDI to infer the dust absorption. The inferred single scattering albedo of dust was in the range of 0.88–0.94. We infer that dust over the Indian desert is of more absorbing nature (compared with African dust). Seasonally, the absorption is least in summer and most in winter. The large dust absorption leads to lower atmospheric warming of 0.7–1.2 K day−1.