Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 110 Issue 3 September 2001 pp 247-265
Characteristics of aerosols in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) obtained from a bistatic CW lidar at Trivandrum for the last one decade are used to investigate the role of ABL micro-meteorological processes in controlling the altitude distribution and size spectrum. The altitude structure of number density shows three distinct zones depending on the prevailing boundary layer feature; viz, the well-mixed region, entertainment region and upper mixing region. In the lower altitudes vertical mixing is very strong (the well-mixed region) the upper limit of which is defined as aerosol-mixing height, is closely associated with the low level inversion. The aerosol mixing height generally lies in the range 150 to 400 m showing a strong dependence on the vertical eddy mixing processes in ABL. Above this altitude, the number density decreases almost exponentially with increase in altitude with a scale height of 0.5–1.5 km. The aerosol mixing height is closely associated with the height of the Thermal Internal Boundary Layer (TIBL). Sea-spray aerosols generated as a result of the interaction of surface wind with sea surface forms an important component of mixing region aerosols at this location. This component shows a non-linear dependence on wind speed. On an average, depending on the season, the mixing region contributes about 10–30% of the columnar aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 0.5Μm wavelength. A long term increasing trend (∼ 2.8% per year) is observed in mixing region AOD from 1989 to 1997. A study on the development of the aerosols in the nocturnal mixing region shows that the convectively driven daytime altitude structure continues to persist for about 4–5 hrs. after the sunset and thereafter the altitude structure is governed by vertical structure of horizontal wind. Stratified aerosol layers associated with stratified turbulence is very common during the late night hours.
Volume 117 Issue 1 February 2008 pp 83-102
Aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 630nm wavelength over the oceanic regions adjoining the Asian Continent is examined using a seven-year long data base derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on board NOAA satellite to study the mean spatial and temporal variations as well as to understand the impact of aerosols advecting from the continent. Depending on the prevailing meteorological conditions and nature of synoptic circulation, the AOD over the oceanic region shows a systematic annual variation. This annual pattern inturn also shows an inter-annual variability because of the corresponding variations in the meteorological features over the continent as well as small-scale deviations in the nature of synoptic circulation. The annual variation over the oceanic regions also shows a pronounced spatial heterogeneity depending on the influence of continental aerosols. Making use of the wind speed dependence of sea-salt AOD at far-oceanic environments and monthly mean wind speeds at small grids of size 5° × 5°, the annual variation of sea-salt AOD at different locations is studied to understand the spatial heterogeneity of this component. The residual component obtained by subtracting this from the measured AOD is the non-oceanic component due to advection from continent. The source regions for major continental advections are delineated from the analysis of air-mass back trajectories at appropriate locations identified from the annual pattern of non-oceanic component. The long-term effect of the continental impact is examined from the mean trend of AOD over the three major oceanic regions. This study shows that the continental influence is most significant over the Arabian Sea, followed by the Bay of Bengal and is almost insignificant in most of the regions over the Southern Hemispheric Indian Ocean, except for the effect of smoke aerosols over a few locations near Indonesia and Madagascar.
Volume 117 Issue S1 July 2008 pp 353-360
MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) level-3 aerosol data, NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction) reanalysis winds and QuikSCAT ocean surface winds were made use of to examine the role of atmospheric circulation in governing aerosol variations over the Bay of Bengal (BoB) during the first phase of the ICARB (Integrated Campaign for Aerosols, gases and Radiation Budget) campaign (March 18–April 12, 2006). An inter-comparison between MODIS level-3 aerosol optical depth (AOD) data and ship-borne MICROTOPS measurements showed good agreement with correlation 0.92 (𝑝 > 0.0001) and a mean MODIS underestimation by 0.01. During the study period, the AOD over BoB showed high values in the northern/north western regions, which reduced towards the central and southern BoB. The wind patterns in lower atmospheric layers (< 850 hPa) indicated that direct transport of aerosols from central India was inhibited by the presence of a high pressure and a divergence over BoB in the lower altitudes. On the other hand, in the upper atmospheric levels, winds from central and northern India stretched south eastwards and converged over BoB with a negative vorticity indicative of a downdraft. These wind patterns pointed to the possibility of aerosol transport from central India to BoB by upper level winds. This mechanism was further confirmed by the significant correlations that AOD variations over BoB showed with aerosol flux convergence and flux vorticity at upper atmospheric levels (600–500 hPa). AOD in central and southern BoB away from continental influences displayed an exponential dependence on the QuikSCAT measured ocean surface wind speed. This study shows that particles transported from central and northern India by upper atmospheric circulations as well as the marine aerosols generated by ocean surface winds contributed to the AOD over the BoB during the first phase of ICARB.
Volume 120 Issue 2 April 2011 pp 269-279
The circulation dynamics of an event marked by the formation of an aerosol cluster off the coast of Maharashtra on April 22, 2006, its southward migration along the Indian west coast with a mean speed of ∼200 km/day and its final dissipation after reaching the end of the peninsula by April 28, 2006 as revealed by MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) against the pre-monsoon conditions of April 2006 are examined in this study. The maximum aerosol concentration in the cluster was found getting confined to lower and lower altitudes during its southward movement. The NCEP/NCAR (National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research) reanalysis wind field indicates that the atmospheric circulation, especially the horizontal wind convergence is the major factor that guides the formation and the dynamics of the cluster. Fine mode fraction from MODIS suggests that the cluster mainly consists of coarse dust particles. The regional climate model, RegCM3 with an efficient dust generation module simulates the formation and movement of the cluster appreciably well. The simulations which also exhibit the altitudinally descending nature of the cluster during its southward movement confirm the mechanism which governs the cluster dynamics suggested based on MODIS and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data.