Properties of Saharan Dust Versus Local Urban Dust—A Case Study

Szczepanik D.M., Stachlewska I.S., Tetoni E., Althausen D.

Earth and Space Science

8(12), 2021, art. e2021EA001816, 10.1029/2021EA001816

On June 29–30, 2019, the Barcelona Dust Forecast Center with Non-hydrostatic Multiscale Model (NMMB/BSC-Dust) and the Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System forecasted huge amounts of mineral dust over Poland. The Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model confirmed uniquely fast (120 hr) long-range air-mass transport form North Africa to Poland. This remarkable dust event was observed using lidar at the Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research InfraStructure site in Warsaw, Central Poland; the only site equipped with Raman-Mie polarization water vapor lidar in East-Central Europe. The excellent capabilities of PollyXT lidar allowed to obtain an impressive number of 31 full sets of aerosol optical properties profiles, which enabled study of dust properties evolution on a rare hourly scale. The analyses were completed with the separation of fine and coarse mode dust particles form non-dust particles using the POlarization-LIdar PHOtometer Networking algorithm. Huge amount of an exceptionally pure mineral dust from Sahara measured in the free troposphere was characterized by a gradually decreasing coarse dust fraction (76%–21%) with a peak of fine dust fraction (67%) and particle linear depolarization ratio (26%) in the middle of the event. Within the boundary layer, a local urban dust mixed with pollution was observed with fine mode dust particles dominating (44%) and lower particle linear depolarization ratio (7.4%). The influx of pure mineral dust has been unique to this geographical region and will therefore be a reference point for future research and comparative studies.