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Optical and Physical Characteristics of the Lowest Aerosol Layers over the Yellow River Basin

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School of Environmental Science and Tourism, Nanyang Normal University, Wolong Road No.1638, Nan Yang 473061, China
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Lingnan College, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
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School of Marine Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 2100444, China
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South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Guangzhou 510300, China
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College of Marine Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China
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Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, King Khalid University, Abha 61421, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Civil Engineering, Institut Superieur des Etudes Technologiques, Campus Universitaire Mrezgua, Nabeul 8000, Tunisia
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100638
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 9 October 2019 / Accepted: 19 October 2019 / Published: 22 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Aerosols)
Studying the presence of aerosols in different atmospheric layers helps researchers understand their impacts on climate change, air quality, and human health. Therefore, in the present study, the optical and physical properties of aerosol layers over the Yellow River Basin (YERB) were investigated using the CALIPSO Level 2 aerosol layer products from January 2007 to December 2014. The Yellow River Basin was divided into three sub-regions i.e., YERB1 (the plain region downstream of the YERB), YERB2 (the Loess Plateau region in the middle reaches of the YERB), and YERB3 (the mountainous terrain in the upper reaches of the YERB). The results showed that the amount (number) of aerosol layers (N) was relatively large (>2 layers) in the lower part of the YERB (YERB1), which was mainly caused by atmospheric convection. The height of the highest aerosol layer top (HTH) and the height of the lowest aerosol layers base (HB1) varied significantly with respect to the topography of the YERB. High and low values of aerosol optical depth (AOD) were observed over the YERB1 (plain area) and YERB3 (elevated area) regions, respectively. Population, economy, and agricultural activities might be the possible reasons for spatial variations in AOD. AOD values for the lowest aerosol layer were high—between 0.7 and 1.0 throughout the year—indicating that aerosols were mainly concentrated at the bottom layer of the atmosphere. In addition, the integrated volume depolarization ratio (0.15–0.2) and the integrated attenuated total color ratio (~0.1) were large during spring for the lowest aerosol layer due to the presence of dust aerosols. The thicknesses of the lowest aerosol layers (TL1) did not vary with respect to the topographic features of the YERB. Over the sub-regions of the YERB, a significant positive correlation between the AOD of the lowest aerosol layer (AOD1) and the thickness of the lowest aerosol layer (TL1) was found, which indicates that TL1 increases with the increase of AOD1. In the whole YERB, a positive linear correlation between the N and HTH was observed, whereas a negative correlation between N and the portion of AOD for the lowest aerosol layer (PAOD1) was found, which revealed that the large value of N leads to the small value of PAOD1. The results from the present study will be helpful to further investigate the aerosol behavior and their impacts on climate change, air quality, and human health over the YERB. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosol layers; AOD; CALIPSO; Yellow River Basin aerosol layers; AOD; CALIPSO; Yellow River Basin
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Zhang, M.; Liu, J.; Bilal, M.; Zhang, C.; Zhao, F.; Xie, X.; Khedher, K.M. Optical and Physical Characteristics of the Lowest Aerosol Layers over the Yellow River Basin. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 638.

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