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Effects of particle shape, hematite content and semi-external mixing with carbonaceous components on the optical properties of accumulation mode mineral dust

Author(s): S. K. Mishra | S. N. Tripathi | S. G. Aggarwal | A. Arola

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
ISSN 1680-7367

Volume: 10;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 31253;
Date: 2010;
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The radiative forcing estimation of the polluted mineral dust is limited due to lack of morphological analysis, mixing state with the carbonaceous components and the hematite content in the pure dust. The accumulation mode mineral dust has been found to mix with anthropogenically produced black carbon, organic carbon and brown carbon during long range transport. The above features of the polluted dust are not well accounted in the optical models and lead the uncertainty in the numerical estimation of their radiative impact. The Semi-external mixing being a prominent mixing of dust and carbonaceous components has not been studied in details so for compared to core-shell, internal and external mixing studies. In present study, we consider the pure mineral dust composed of non-metallic components (such as Quartz, Feldspar, Mica and Calcite) and metalic component like hematite (Fe2O3). The hematite percentage in the pure mineral dust governs its absorbance. Based on this hematite variation, the hematite fraction in pure mineral dust has been constrained between 0–8%. The morphological and mineralogical characterization of the polluted dust led to consider the three sphere, two sphere and two spheroid model shapes for polluted dust particle system. The pollution gives rise to various light absorbing aerosol components like black carbon, brown carbon and organic carbon (comprising of HUmic-Like Substances, HULIS) in the atmosphere. The entire above discussed model shapes have been considered for the mineral dust getting polluted with (1) organic carbon (especially HULIS component) (2) Brown carbon and (3) black carbon by making a semi-external mixture with pure mineral dust. The optical properties (like Single Scattering Albedo, SSA; Asymmetry parameter, g and Extinction efficiency, Qext) of above model shapes for the polluted dust have been computed using Discrete Dipole Approximation, DDA code. For above model shapes, the SSA was found to vary depending on hematite content (0–8%) and model shape composition. For the two sphere BC-mineral dust cluster, hematite was found to be dominating absorber compared to that of black carbon as the RBC/Rdust decreases. (i.e. with increase of dust sphere size compared to black carbon sphere in the composite 2-sphere cluster). SSA was found to be very sensitivity for the hematite content when both of the spheres (i.e. mineral dust and BC) are nearly of same size. The two spheroid system composed of organic carbon and dust with 0% hematite (OCD'-0) showed the maximum deviation of SSA (i.e.~5%) compared to the two sphere system of same composition and hematite content (OCD-0 ). Increase in hematite from 0 to 8% caused maximum SSA deviation of ~20% for two sphere organic carbon-dust system (OCD) while the same has been observed to be ~18% for two spheroid organic carbon-dust system (OCD'). SSA was found to be more sensitive to hematite content than that of particle shape. Compared to SSA, Asymmetry parameter, g was found to be more sensitive towards particle shape. For three-sphere model shapes with 0% hematite composed of black carbon-dust-dust (BCDD-0), brown carbon-dust-dust (BrCDD-0 ) and organic carbon-dust-dust (OCDD-0), the deviation of SSA and g relative to conjugate black carbon (BC), brown carbon (BrC) and organic carbon (OC) spheres are ~68% and ~31%, ~83% and ~31% and ~70% and ~33%, respectively. Thus modeled polluted dust optics will provide a better basis for radiative forcing estimation and many sensitivity studies.
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