Multiplatform observations of the seasonal evolution of the Saharan atmospheric boundary layer in Tamanrasset, Algeria, in the framework of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis field campaign conducted in 2006

Abstract : We document the seasonal evolution of the Saharan atmospheric boundary layer (SABL), in terms of vertical structure, diurnal cycle, aerosol content, and cloud cover as well as the surface radiative budget, during 2006, using a mobile multiplatform atmospheric observatory implemented in Tamanrasset (Algeria). Ground-based remote sensing (both active and passive) and in situ instruments were deployed in the framework of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis field experiment and were used in synergy with satellite observations. Observations showed a marked seasonal evolution of the SABL characteristics and a large variability during the West African monsoon onset phase. At the beginning of June, hazy conditions prevailed in a deep SABL (∼5 km). Following this, reduced cloud cover induced by anomalous large-scale subsidence resulted in high surface insolation which enhanced the convective development of the SABL (∼6 km deep). During that period, the proximity of the Saharan heat low was also favorable to the SABL deepening. In August and September, humidity advected from the south enhanced cloud cover and limited the SABL vertical development (∼3.8 km deep). In the wintertime, weak dry convection and the Hadley cell–related subsidence resulted in high visibility and an extremely shallow SABL (∼500 m deep). Throughout 2006, the aerosol vertical distribution within the SABL was nonuniform, with the majority of coarse particles being located near the surface. The aerosol content over Tamanrasset was influenced by dust transport from a variety of source regions after being lifted through different mechanisms (low-level jets; cold pools or topographic flows).
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Juan Cuesta, Dimitri Edouart, Mohamed Mimouni, Pierre H. Flamant, Claude Loth, et al.. Multiplatform observations of the seasonal evolution of the Saharan atmospheric boundary layer in Tamanrasset, Algeria, in the framework of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis field campaign conducted in 2006. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2008, 113 (D23), pp.D00C07. ⟨10.1029/2007JD009417⟩. ⟨hal-00311302⟩

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