A STUDY OF REMOTELY SENSED AEROSOL PROPERTIES FROM GROUND-BASED SUN AND SKY SCANNING RADIOMETERS
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Aerosol particles impact human health by degrading air quality and affect climate by heating or cooling the atmosphere. The Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) of Northern India, one of the most populous regions in the world, produces and is impacted by a variety of aerosols including pollution, smoke, dust, and mixtures of them. The NASA Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) mesoscale distribution of Sun and sky-pointing instruments in India was established to measure aerosol characteristics at sites across the IGP and around Kanpur, India, a large urban and industrial center in the IGP, during the 2008 pre-monsoon (April-June). This study focused on detecting spatial and temporal variability of aerosols, validating satellite retrievals, and classifying the dominant aerosol mixing states and origins. The Kanpur region typically experiences high aerosol loading due to pollution and smoke during the winter and high aerosol loading due to the addition of dust to the pollution and smoke mixture during the pre-monsoon. Aerosol emissions in Kanpur likely contribute up to 20% of the aerosol loading during the pre-monsoon over the IGP. Aerosol absorption also increases significantly downwind of Kanpur indicating the possibility of the black carbon emissions from aerosol sources such as coal-fired power plants and brick kilns. Aerosol retrievals from satellite show a high bias when compared to the mesoscale distributed instruments around Kanpur during the pre-monsoon with few high quality retrievals due to imperfect aerosol type and land surface characteristic assumptions. Aerosol type classification using the aerosol absorption, size, and shape properties can identify dominant aerosol mixing states of absorbing dust and black carbon particles. Using 19 long-term AERONET sites near various aerosol source regions (Dust, Mixed, Urban/Industrial, and Biomass Burning), aerosol absorption property statistics are expanded upon and show significant differences when compared to previous work. The sensitivity of absorption properties is evaluated and quantified with respect to aerosol retrieval uncertainty. Using clustering analysis, aerosol absorption and size relationships provide a simple method to classify aerosol mixing states and origins and potentially improve aerosol retrievals from ground-based and satellite-based instrumentation.