Sanwlani, N; Chauhan, P; Navalgund, RR (2011). Characterization and transport of aerosols over the Bay of Bengal during the winter monsoon: a comparative study using in-situ and satellite measurements. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 32(5), 1253-1267.
Natural processes, such as dust storms and sea salt spray, and anthropogenic activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and biomass, introduce aerosols into the atmosphere. Their concentration, geographic distribution and particle size promote significant climatic consequences. Aerosol transport processes, from landmasses to oceans, are scarcely understood because of inadequate in-situ observations. This study reports the results of spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements using a five-channel (380, 440, 500, 675 and 870 nm) handheld MICROTOPS Sun-photometer used during a sea-truth data collection campaign conducted in the central Bay of Bengal (BOB) during the northeastern monsoon period (10 November to 13 December 2007). For the entire cruise period, the mean values of the daily average of the AODs at 500 nm and 870 nm were 0.39 +/- 0.065 and 0.22 +/- 0.047, respectively, the mean value of the Angstrom exponent (alpha) was 1.23 +/- 0.2 and the turbidity parameter (beta) was 0.183 +/- 0.044. A smaller alpha value together with a larger beta value suggests the presence of an abundance of smaller aerosol particles near the coast. An air mass back-trajectory analysis was undertaken to identify the potential source regions of the aerosols. Analysis of the results demonstrated the effect of the aerosol transport and source regions on the spectral behaviour of the AODs. In-situ measured AOD (550 nm) and alpha (550 nm, 865 nm) values were further compared with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived parameters. The in-situ and MODIS-derived AOD values were found to be in good agreement, with a coefficient of determination (R(2)) of 0.78 and a standard error of 0.05, while the R(2) for alpha was 0.68 with a standard error of 0.14.