The Effect of Varying Soot Concentration and Relative Humidity on Visibility and Particle Size Distribution in Urban Atmosphere

Ummulkhair Yahaya Abdulkarim, S. U. Yerima, B. I. Tijjani, U. M. Gana, M. Sani


This research used extracted extinction coefficients and common mode radii of urban aerosols to carry out visibility simulations at corresponding spectral wavelengths from 0.4-0.8µm from the improved version of the Optical Properties of Aerosols and Clouds (OPAC 4.0) data at eight relative humidities(RH) (0%, 50%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 95%, 98% and 99% RH). Five models of the urban aerosols used comprised of insoluble (INSO), Water-soluble (WASO) and Soot (Black Carbon). From the average concentration set up by OPAC 4.0, the concentrations of the Soot (Black Carbon) were varied by external mixing. The Angstrom exponent (α), the curvature (α2) and the urban atmospheric turbidity (β) were obtained from the regression analysis of the first and second order polynomial of Kaufman’s representation of the Koschmieder equation for atmospheric visibility. The mean exponents of the aerosol size growth curve (µ) were determined from the aerosol effective hygroscopic growth (geff) while the humidification factors (γ) were determined from the visibility enhancement factors f(RH,λ). With µ and γ, the mean exponents of aerosol size distributions (υ) were determined for all the models. It was observed that at varying Soot (Black Carbon) concentrations and RH there were non-linear relationships between them and visibilities. The values of α > 1 showed the presence of fine mode particles from the WASO part of the aerosol mixture and α2 being positive indicated bimodal aerosol particle distributions. Additionally, visibility deterioration is predicted because of the increase in turbidity (β) with the variation of Soot and RH.

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