Evidence for the Convective Transport of Dust Aerosol During DC-3
Friday, 19 December 2014
Bulk aerosol composition and aerosol volume size distributions measured aboard the NASA DC-8 during the NCAR DC-3 (Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry Experiment) mission in May/June 2012 were used to investigate the transport of mineral dust through twelve storms encountered over Colorado and Oklahoma. Measurements made at low altitudes (< 5 km) in the storm inflow region were compared to those made in the outflow in and around storm cirrus anvils (altitude > 9 km). Total coarse (1 μm < diameter < 5 μm) aerosol volume (Vc) and Ca2+ measured in both storm inflow and outflow were highly correlated, thus dust was assumed to dominate the aerosol coarse volume. Mean outflow Ca2+ concentrations were comparable to mean inflow values as demonstrated by average outflow/inflow Ca2+ ratios near unity. Vc outflow/inflow ratios were also high (>> 0.5) for most storms, suggesting coarse mode dust was efficiently transported through the CO and OK storms. Comparisons between inflow aerosol number concentration (Nc) calculated over a size range characteristic of dust ice nuclei (0.5 μm < diameter < 5 μm) and ice particle concentrations in storm anvils further suggested interstitial coarse mode dust was present in these cirrus anvils. For over half the storms, mean inflow Nc exceeded mean anvil ice particle concentrations implying ice nucleation mechanisms may be sensitive to complex dust characteristics beyond size. Possible artifacts associated with shattered ice crystals were examined via 1) closure calculations for observations from different instrumentation and independent aircraft inlets, and 2) assessment of relationships with cloud microphysical observations. Initial results indicate minimal influence of ice shatter on aerosol measurements, but effects vary for individual storms with different cloud microphysical characteristics.