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Original Research Papers

Polarising properties of the aerosols in the north-eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean, with emphasis on the ACE-2 period

Authors:

Thierry Elias ,

Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, FR
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Claude Devaux,

Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, FR
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Philippe Goloub,

Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, FR
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Maurice Herman

Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, FR
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Abstract

Measurements of the polarisation state of the atmosphere were performed at Tenerife in June−July 1997, in the framework of ACE-2 (second Aerosol Characterization Experiment), by 2 ground-based instruments: RefPol (a LOA prototype) which took measurements at 445, 665, 870, 1610 nm in the solar principal plane; and an automatic CIMEL (CE 318) sun/sky-photometer which measured polarised radiation at 870 nm in the same observational geometry. Measurements acquired during the campaign, as well as AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) measurements acquired at the sites of Cape Verde and M’Bour, are processed with an algorithm determining the polarised single-scattering sky-radiance due to aerosols, directly proportional to the aerosol polarised phase function (representing the probability to scatter polarised radiation in the direction of the scattering angle). A good correlation between the Ångström exponent α, representing the spectral dependence of the extinction measurements, and the polarised phase function is observed on each set of data. The uncertainty of retrievals at 445 nm makes the determination of the spectral dependence of polarisation inconclusive but does not prevent confirming the dependence of the aerosol polarised phase function on α, at all wavelengths. An Ångström exponent of 1 corresponds to a polarised phase function of around 0.1 (±0.04), at 870 nm and at a scattering angle of 60°. For α between 0 and 0.4, the average value of the polarised phase function is 0.05. The correlation shows that polarisation is more sensitive to small particles than to large particles. The discrepancy between retrievals and Mie calculations from an AERONET size distribution, inverted from Izaña measurements acquired during a dust event, suggests the presence of small particles, not detected by total sky-radiance measurements.

How to Cite: Elias, T., Devaux, C., Goloub, P. and Herman, M., 2000. Polarising properties of the aerosols in the north-eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean, with emphasis on the ACE-2 period. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 52(2), pp.620–635. DOI: http://doi.org/10.3402/tellusb.v52i2.17123
  Published on 01 Jan 2000
 Accepted on 11 Oct 1999            Submitted on 11 Feb 1999

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