Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-446
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-446
23 Feb 2024
 | 23 Feb 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Measurement Report: Comparative Analysis of Fluorescing African Dust Particles in Spain and Puerto Rico

Bighnaraj Sarangi, Darrel Baumgardner, Ana Isabel Calvo, Benjamin Bolaños-Rosero, Roberto Fraile, Alberto Rodríguez-Fernández, Delia Fernández-González, Carlos Blanco-Alegre, Cátia Gonçalves, Estela D. Vicente, and Olga L. Mayol Bracero

Abstract. Measurements during episodes of African dust, made with two Wideband Integrated Bioaerosol Spectrometers (WIBS), one on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico and the other in the city of León, Spain, show unmistakable, bioaerosol-like fluorescing aerosol particles (FAP) that can be associated with these dust episodes. The Puerto Rico events occurred during a major incursion of African dust during June 2020. The León events occurred in the late winter and spring of 2022 when widespread, elevated layers of dust inundated the Iberian Peninsula. Satellite and back trajectory analyses confirm that dust from Northern Africa was the source of the particles during both events. The WIBS measures the size of individual particles in the range from 0.5 µm to 30 µm, derives a shape factor and classifies seven types of fluorescence from the FAP. In general it is not possible to directly determine the specific biological identity from fluorescence signatures, however, measurements of these types of bioaerosols in laboratory studies allow us to compare ambient fluorescence patterns with whole microbial cells measured under controlled conditions. Here we introduce some new metrics that offer a more quantitative approach for comparing FAP characteristics derived from particles measured under different environmental conditions. The analysis highlights the similarities and differences at the two locations and reveals differences that can be attributed to the age and history of the dust plumes, e.g., the amount of time that the air masses were in the mixed layer and the frequency of precipitation along the air mass trajectory.

Bighnaraj Sarangi, Darrel Baumgardner, Ana Isabel Calvo, Benjamin Bolaños-Rosero, Roberto Fraile, Alberto Rodríguez-Fernández, Delia Fernández-González, Carlos Blanco-Alegre, Cátia Gonçalves, Estela D. Vicente, and Olga L. Mayol Bracero

Status: open (until 17 May 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-446', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Mar 2024 reply
Bighnaraj Sarangi, Darrel Baumgardner, Ana Isabel Calvo, Benjamin Bolaños-Rosero, Roberto Fraile, Alberto Rodríguez-Fernández, Delia Fernández-González, Carlos Blanco-Alegre, Cátia Gonçalves, Estela D. Vicente, and Olga L. Mayol Bracero

Data sets

African dust with bioaerosols Darrel Baumgardner https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10680977

Bighnaraj Sarangi, Darrel Baumgardner, Ana Isabel Calvo, Benjamin Bolaños-Rosero, Roberto Fraile, Alberto Rodríguez-Fernández, Delia Fernández-González, Carlos Blanco-Alegre, Cátia Gonçalves, Estela D. Vicente, and Olga L. Mayol Bracero

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Short summary
Measurements of fluorescing aerosol particle properties have been made during two major African dust events, one over the island of Puerto Rico and the other over the city of León, Spain The measurements were with two Wideband Integrated Bioaerosol Spectrometers. A significant change in the background aerosol properties, at both locations, is observed when the dust is in the respective regions.