Oliveira, DCFD; Montilla-Rosero, E; Lopes, FJD; Morais, FG; Landulfo, E; Hoelzemann, JJ (2020). Aerosol properties in the atmosphere of Natal/Brazil measured by an AERONET Sun-photometer. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH.

We analyzed data measured by a Sun-photometer of the RIMA-AERONET network with the purpose to characterize the aerosol properties in the atmosphere over Natal, state capital of Rio Grande do Norte, at the coast of Northeast Brazil. Aerosol Optical Depth, Angstrom Exponent, Volume Size Distribution, Single Scattering Albedo, Complex Refractive Index, Asymmetry Factor, and Precipitable Water were analyzed from August 2017 to March 2018. In addition, MODIS and CALIOP observations, local Lidar measurements, and modeled backward trajectories were analyzed in a case study on February 9, 2018, that consistently confirmed the identification of a persistent aerosol layer below 4 km agl. Aerosols present in the atmosphere of Natal showed monthly mean Aerosol Optical Depth at 500 nm below 0.15 (similar to 75%), monthly means of the Angstrom Exponent at 440-670 nm between 0.30 and 0.70 (similar to 69%), bimodal Volume Size Distribution is dominantly coarse mode, Single Scattering Albedo at 440 nm is 0.80, Refractive Index - Real Part around 1.50, Refractive Index - Imaginary Part ranging from 0.01 to 0.04, and the Asymmetry Factor ranged from 0.73 to 0.80. The aerosol typing during the measurement period showed that atmospheric aerosol over Natal is mostly composed of mixed aerosol (58.10%), marine aerosol (34.80%), mineral dust (6.30%), and biomass burning aerosols (0.80%). Backward trajectories identified that 51% of the analyzed air masses over Natal originated from the African continent.