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T-matrix modeling of linear depolarization by morphologically complex soot and soot-containing aerosols

Elsevier Ltd
DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2012.11.012
  • Soot Aggregates
  • Optical Cross Sections
  • Linear Depolarization
  • Remote Sensing
  • Atmospheric Radiation


Abstract We use state-of-the-art public-domain Fortran codes based on the T-matrix method to calculate orientation and ensemble averaged scattering matrix elements for a variety of morphologically complex black carbon (BC) and BC-containing aerosol particles, with a special emphasis on the linear depolarization ratio (LDR). We explain theoretically the quasi-Rayleigh LDR peak at side-scattering angles typical of low-density soot fractals and conclude that the measurement of this feature enables one to evaluate the compactness state of BC clusters and trace the evolution of low-density fluffy fractals into densely packed aggregates. We show that small backscattering LDRs measured with ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne lidars for fresh smoke generally agree with the values predicted theoretically for fluffy BC fractals and densely packed near-spheroidal BC aggregates. To reproduce higher lidar LDRs observed for aged smoke, one needs alternative particle models such as shape mixtures of BC spheroids or cylinders.

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