Long-term ground-based measurements of aerosol optical depth over Kuwait city
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We analyze ten years (2008–2017) of ground-based observations of the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) in the atmosphere of Kuwait City, in Middle East. The measurements were conducted with a CIMEL sun-sky photometer, at various wavelengths. The daily average AOD at 500 nm (AOD500) is 0.45, while the mean Ångström coefficient (AE), calculated from the pair of wavelengths 440 and 870 nm, is 0.61. The observed high AOD500 values (0.75–2.91), are due to regional sand and dust storm events, which are affecting Kuwait with a mean annual frequency of almost 20 days/year. The long-term record analysis of AOD500 and AE, shows a downward and upward tendency respectively, something which could be attributed to the continuous expansion and industrialization of the main city of Kuwait, in combination with the simultaneous increase of soil moisture over the area. By utilizing back trajectories of air masses for up to 4 days, we assessed the influence of various regions to the aerosol load over Kuwait. The high aerosol loads during spring, are attributed to the dominance of coarse particles from Saudi Arabia (AOD5000.56–0.74), a source area that contributes the 56% to the mean annual AOD500. Other dust sources affecting significantly Kuwait originated from the regions of Iraq and Iran with contribution of 21%.