Geophysical Research Letters

Dust and smoke transport from Africa to South America: Lidar profiling over Cape Verde and the Amazon rainforest



[1] Quasi-simultaneous vertically resolved multiwavelength aerosol Raman lidar observations were conducted in the near field (Praia, Cape Verde, 15°N, 23.5°W) and in the far field (Manaus, Amazon basin, Brazil, 2.5°S, 60°W) of the long-range transport regime between West Africa and South America. Based on a unique data set (case study) of spectrally resolved backscatter and extinction coefficients, and of the depolarization ratio a detailed characterization of aerosol properties, vertical stratification, mixing, and aging behavior during the long-distance travel in February 2008 (dry season in western Africa, wet season in the Amazon basin) is presented. While highly stratified aerosol layers of dust and smoke up to 5.5 km height were found close to Africa, the aerosol over Manaus was almost well-mixed, reached up to 3.5 km, and mainly consisted of aged biomass burning smoke.