, Volume 119, Issue 1-2, pp 71-90
Date: 31 Oct 2012

Indirect determination of broadband turbidity coefficients over Egypt

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Long-term data from diffuse and global irradiances were used to calculate direct beam irradiance which was used to determine three atmospheric turbidity coefficients (Linke T L , Ångström β and Unsworth–Monteith δ a ) at seven sites in Egypt in the period from 1981 to 2000. Seven study sites (Barrani, Matruh, Arish, Cairo, Asyut, Aswan and Kharga) have been divided into three categories: Mediterranean climate (MC), desert Nile climate (DNC) and urban climate (UC, Cairo). The indirect method (i.e., global irradiance minus diffuse irradiance) used here allows to estimate the turbidity coefficients with an RMSE% ≤20 % (for β, δ a and T L ) and ~30 % (for β) if compared with those estimated by direct beam irradiance and sunphotometeric data, respectively. Monthly averages of T L , β and δ a show seasonal variations with mainly maxima in spring at all stations, due to Khamsin depressions coming from Sahara. Secondary maxima is observed in summer and autumn at DNC and MC (Barrani and Arish) stations in summer due to dust haze which prevails during that season and at UC (Cairo) in autumn, due to the northern extension of the Sudan monsoon trough, which is accompanied by small-scale depressions with dust particles. The mean annual values of β, δ a , and T L (0.216, 0.314, and 4.6, respectively) are larger in Cairo than at MC stations (0.146, 0.216, and 3.8, respectively) and DNC stations (0.153, 0.227, and 3.8, respectively). Both El-Chichon and Mt. Pinatubo eruptions were examined for all records data at MC, UC and DNC stations. The overburden caused by Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption was larger than El-Chichon’s eruption and overburden for β, and T L at DNC stations (0.06, and 0.58 units, respectively) was more pronounced than that at MC (0.02, and 0.26, respectively) and UC (0.05 and 0.52 units, respectively) stations. The annual variations in wind speed and turbidity parameters show high values for both low and high wind speed at all stations. The wind directions have a clear effect on atmospheric turbidity, and consequently, largest turbidities occur when the wind carries aerosols from the main particle sources, such as industrial particle sources around Cairo or to some extent from the Sahara surrounding all study stations.

Responsible editor: C. Simmer.