Optical Characterization of Marine Aerosols Using a Morphologically Realistic Model With Varying Water Content: Implications for Lidar Applications and Passive Polarimetric Remote Sensing
Journal article, 2024

Retrieving the physical properties and water content of marine aerosols requires understanding the links between the particles' optical and microphysical properties. By using a morphologically realistic model with varying salt mass fractions fm, describing the transition from irregularly shaped, dry salt crystals to brine-coated geometries, optical properties relevant to polarimetric remote sensing are computed at wavelengths of 532 and 1,064 nm. The extinction cross section and its color ratio depend on particle size, but are insensitive to changes in fm; thus, measured extinction coefficients at two wavelengths contain information on both particle number and size. The lidar ratio's dependence on both size and wavelength has implications for inverting the lidar equation. The results suggest that active observations of the backscattering cross section's color ratio and the depolarization ratio, as well as, passive observations of the degree of linear polarization offer avenues to obtain the water content of marine aerosols.



aerosol optics

remote sensing

marione aerosol


Michael Kahnert


Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Geoscience and Remote Sensing

Franz Kanngießer


Geophysical Research Letters

0094-8276 (ISSN) 19448007 (eISSN)

Vol. 51 5 e2023GL107541

Subject Categories

Remote Sensing

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics



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