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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 50, Iss. 14 — May. 10, 2011
  • pp: 2037–2048

Light absorption from particulate impurities in snow and ice determined by spectrophotometric analysis of filters

Thomas C. Grenfell, Sarah J. Doherty, Antony D. Clarke, and Stephen G. Warren  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 50, Issue 14, pp. 2037-2048 (2011)

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Light absorption by particulate impurities in snow and ice can affect the surface albedo and is important for the climate. The absorption properties of these particles can be determined by collecting and melting snow samples and extracting the particulate material by filtration of the meltwater. This paper describes the optical design and testing of a new instrument to measure the absorption spectrum from 400 to 750 nm wavelength of the particles collected on filters using an “integrating-sandwich” configuration. The measured absorption is shown to be unaffected by scattering of light from the deposited particulates. A set of calibration standards is used to derive an upper limit for the concentration of black carbon (BC) in the snow. The wavelength dependence of the absorption spectra from 450 to 600 nm is used to calculate an absorption Å ngstrom exponent for the aerosol. This exponent is used to estimate the actual BC concentration in the snow samples as well as the relative contributions of BC and non-BC constituents to the absorption of solar radiation integrated over the wavelength band 300 to 750 nm .

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(120.3150) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Integrating spheres
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(120.6200) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Spectrometers and spectroscopic instrumentation
(300.0300) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy
(300.6550) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, visible

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: June 3, 2010
Revised Manuscript: January 26, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: January 27, 2011
Published: May 5, 2011

Thomas C. Grenfell, Sarah J. Doherty, Antony D. Clarke, and Stephen G. Warren, "Light absorption from particulate impurities in snow and ice determined by spectrophotometric analysis of filters," Appl. Opt. 50, 2037-2048 (2011)

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