Abstract

Extinction-to-backscatter ratio or lidar ratio is a key parameter in the issue of backscatter-lidar inversions. The lidar ratio of Asian dust was observed with a high-spectral-resolution lidar and a combined Raman elastic-backscatter lidar during the springs of 1998 and 1999. The measured values range from 42 to 55 sr in most cases, with a mean of 51 sr. These values are significantly larger than those predicted by the Mie computations that incorporate measured Asian dust size distributions and a range of refractive index with a typical value of 1.55–0.005i. The enhancement of lidar ratio is mostly due to the nonsphericity of dust particles, as indicated by the T-matrix calculations for spheroid particles and a number of other theoretical studies. In addition, possible contamination of urban aerosols may also contribute somewhat in optically thin cases. Mie theory, although it can well describe spherical particle scattering, will not be sufficient to represent the scattering characteristics of irregular particles such as Asian dust, especially in directions larger than approximately 90°,when the size parameter is large.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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