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African volcanic emissions influencing atmospheric aerosols over the Amazon rain forest

Abstract : The long-range transport (LRT) of trace gases and aerosol particles plays an important role for the composition of the Amazonian rain forest atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols originate to a substantial extent from LRT sources and play an important role in the Amazonian atmosphere as strongly light-scattering particles and effective cloud condensation nuclei. The transatlantic transport of volcanic sulfur emissions from Africa has been considered as a source of particulate sulfate in the Amazon; however, direct observations have been lacking so far. This study provides observational evidence for the influence of emissions from the Nyamuragira–Nyiragongo volcanoes in Africa on Amazonian aerosol properties and atmospheric composition during September 2014. Comprehensive ground-based and airborne aerosol measurements together with satellite observations are used to investigate the volcanic event. Under the volcanic influence, hourly mean sulfate mass concentrations in the submicron size range reached up to 3.6µgm−3 at the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory, the highest value ever reported in the Amazon region. The substantial sulfate injection increased the aerosol hygroscopicity with κ values up to 0.36, thus altering aerosol–cloud interactions over the rain forest. Airborne measurements and satellite data indicate that the transatlantic transport of volcanogenic aerosols occurred in two major volcanic plumes with a sulfate-enhanced layer between 4 and 5km of altitude. This study demonstrates how African aerosol sources, such as volcanic sulfur emissions, can substantially affect the aerosol cycling and atmospheric processes in Amazonia.
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Jorge Saturno, Florian Ditas, Marloes Penning de Vries, Bruna Holanda, Mira Pöhlker, et al.. African volcanic emissions influencing atmospheric aerosols over the Amazon rain forest. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, European Geosciences Union, 2018, 18 (14), pp.10391-10405. ⟨10.5194/acp-18-10391-2018⟩. ⟨hal-01846902⟩

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