Jong-Uk Park1, Sang-Woo Kim 1, Patrick J. Sheridan2, Alastair Williams3, Scott D. Chambers3

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
NOAA, Earth System Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Lucas Heights, NSW 2234, Australia

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Park, J.U., Kim, S.W., Sheridan, P.J., Williams, A. and Chambers, S.D. (2020). Long-term Variability of Aerosol Optical Properties at Mauna Loa. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.,


  • We studied the aerosol scattering/absorption properties at the Mauna Loa Observatory.
  • We explored the diurnal variation of these properties in free troposphere conditions.
  • The seasonal variation and property trends are analyzed based on the airmass origin.


We investigated the variability of aerosol scattering (σsp; 1974-2015) and absorption (σap; 2000-2015) coefficients at the Mauna Loa Observatory from surface in-situ measurements. σsp increased in the afternoon hours (3.72 ± 7.63 Mm-1 at 550 nm, 14–17 local standard time (LST)) due to the development of thermally induced boundary layer winds, but decreased during the morning hours (1.85 ± 3.43 Mm-1 at 550 nm, 8–11 LST). No distinct diurnal variation was observed in σap. The distinct increase in σsp and σap during the spring under free tropospheric conditions (8–11 LST) is attributed to long-range transported aerosols from Asia, and especially dust and pollution aerosols from Northeast Asia, and biomass burning aerosols from Southeast Asia. Accordingly, σsp increased during the period of 1974–2015 (i.e., 1.89 %/year), whereas no significant trend was noted in both σsp and σap during the period of 2000–2015. An increasing trend for σsp was predominant for the air mass which originated from Northeast Asia (+0.51 Mm-1/decade).

Keywords: Aerosol in-situ measurement; Aerosol scattering coefficient; Aerosol absorption coefficient; Mauna Loa.

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