Spectral Light Absorption and Scattering by Aerosol Particles in Central Amazonia
Abstract:As part of the GoAmazon2014/5, a detailed characterization of spectral light absorption and light scattering was performed at four research sites located in the central Amazon forest at different distances upwind and downwind of Manaus. The sites ATTO (T0a) and Embrapa (T0e) are located upwind of Manaus where it is possible to observe very pristine atmospheric conditions in wet season. The site Tiwa (T2) is being operated under the direct influence of the Manaus plume at 5 km downwind of Manaus and, finally, the Manacapuru (T3) site is located at about 60 km downwind of Manaus. The spectral dependence of light absorption and light scattering were measured using Aethalometers (7-wavelengths) and Nephelometers (3-wavelengths), respectively. By calculating the Absorption Angstrom Exponent (AAE), it was possible to get information about the source of the aerosol whereas the Scattering Angstrom Exponent (SAE) gives information about its size distribution. Sunphotometers from the AERONET network were set up at T3 and T0e sites to measure column Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD).
For all the stations, much higher absorption and scattering coefficients were observed during the dry season in comparison to the wet season, as a result of the larger concentration of BC and OC present in the biomass burning events. Additionally, we also observed Manaus plume pollution that alters the BC signal. There is also an increase of the AAE during the dry season due to the larger amount of aerosols from biomass burning compared with urban pollution. High values of AAE are also observed during the wet season, attributed to the presence of long-range transport of aerosols from Africa. The SAE for all the sites are lower during the wet season, with the dominance of large biological particles, and increases during the dry season as a consequence of fine particles emitted from both biomass and fossil fuel burning. The AOD at T0e and T3 (Jan-Jun/2014) showed very similar values ranging from 0.05 to 0.4. The regression coefficient of the T0e vs. T3 correlation was 1.04(4) and R²=0.94, showing similar columnar extinction properties and little influence of the Manaus plume on the total aerosol column.