Physical properties of tropospheric aerosols from a biomass burning episode in equatorial Southeast Asia

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Abstract

The present study investigates some of the physical properties of remotely sensed aerosols that were emitted from an intense biomass burning episode over equatorial Southeast Asia during August 2005. A total of 1245 active fire counts were detected in Sumatera, Indonesia by the MODIS Aqua satellite from 8 to 14 August 2005, and consequently, increased the amount of tropospheric oceanic aerosol mass concentrations and aerosol optical depth (AOD) to more than 23 _g cm-2 and 0.8, respectively over Peninsular Malaysia. This is in contrast to lower AOD values over the uninhabited neighbouring areas such as the Bay of Bengal or the equatorial Indian Ocean. Coarser and lower mass concentrations of aerosols were detected over the equatorial Indian Ocean, in contrast to the area east of Sumatera, including Peninsular Malaysia and the southern South China Sea, where the finer sized aerosols originated mainly from the biomass burning activities. Here, the effective radii of fine sized aerosols ranged from 0.1 to 0.4 μm compared to the effective radii of coarse aerosols that were typically of size 1 μm over the equatorial Indian Ocean. Forward air trajectories showed that the fine aerosols originated from the burned biomass in Sumatera were transported downstream to Peninsular Malaysia by the prevailing southwest monsoon. The near-stagnant low level conditions that occurred from 9 to 11 August 2005 exacerbated the poor dispersion of the aerosols as corroborated by the extremely high ground level PM10 concentrations recorded on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Time series of the AOD showed that the elevated turbidity of the atmosphere associated with the suspended aerosols from the intense biomass burning activities were transient in nature, which lasted for approximately a few days before the aerosols were subsequently removed from the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Ecology and Development
Volume17
Issue numberF10
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

biomass burning
aerosols
Southeast Asia
South East Asia
Malaysia
Indian Ocean
physical properties
physical property
aerosol
biomass
Indonesia
time series
optical depth
air
China
Values
Aqua (satellite)
Bay of Bengal
South China Sea
atmosphere

Keywords

  • Aerosol properties
  • Biomass burning
  • Peninsular Malaysia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Sumatera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Development

Cite this

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abstract = "The present study investigates some of the physical properties of remotely sensed aerosols that were emitted from an intense biomass burning episode over equatorial Southeast Asia during August 2005. A total of 1245 active fire counts were detected in Sumatera, Indonesia by the MODIS Aqua satellite from 8 to 14 August 2005, and consequently, increased the amount of tropospheric oceanic aerosol mass concentrations and aerosol optical depth (AOD) to more than 23 _g cm-2 and 0.8, respectively over Peninsular Malaysia. This is in contrast to lower AOD values over the uninhabited neighbouring areas such as the Bay of Bengal or the equatorial Indian Ocean. Coarser and lower mass concentrations of aerosols were detected over the equatorial Indian Ocean, in contrast to the area east of Sumatera, including Peninsular Malaysia and the southern South China Sea, where the finer sized aerosols originated mainly from the biomass burning activities. Here, the effective radii of fine sized aerosols ranged from 0.1 to 0.4 μm compared to the effective radii of coarse aerosols that were typically of size 1 μm over the equatorial Indian Ocean. Forward air trajectories showed that the fine aerosols originated from the burned biomass in Sumatera were transported downstream to Peninsular Malaysia by the prevailing southwest monsoon. The near-stagnant low level conditions that occurred from 9 to 11 August 2005 exacerbated the poor dispersion of the aerosols as corroborated by the extremely high ground level PM10 concentrations recorded on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Time series of the AOD showed that the elevated turbidity of the atmosphere associated with the suspended aerosols from the intense biomass burning activities were transient in nature, which lasted for approximately a few days before the aerosols were subsequently removed from the atmosphere.",
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