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E. Kassianov, M. Pekour, C. Flynn, L. K. Berg, J. Beranek, A. Zelenyuk, C. Zhao, L. R. Leung, P. L. Ma, L. Riihimaki, J. D. Fast, J. Barnard, A. G. Hallar, I. B. McCubbin, E. W. Eloranta, A. McComiskey, and P. J. Rasch

Abstract

This work is motivated by previous studies of transatlantic transport of Saharan dust and the observed quasi-static nature of coarse mode aerosol with a volume median diameter (VMD) of approximately 3.5 μm. The authors examine coarse mode contributions from transpacific transport of dust to North American aerosol properties using a dataset collected at the high-elevation Storm Peak Laboratory (SPL) and the nearby Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mobile Facility. Collected ground-based data are complemented by quasi-global model simulations and satellite and ground-based observations. The authors identify a major dust event associated mostly with a transpacific plume (about 65% of near-surface aerosol mass) in which the coarse mode with moderate (~3 μm) VMD is distinct and contributes substantially to total aerosol volume (up to 70%) and scattering (up to 40%). The results demonstrate that the identified plume at the SPL site has a considerable fraction of supermicron particles (VMD ~3 μm) and, thus, suggest that these particles have a fairly invariant behavior despite transpacific transport. If confirmed in additional studies, this invariant behavior may simplify considerably parameterizations for size-dependent processes associated with dust transport and removal.

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