Modeling of the scattering and radiative properties of nonspherical dust-like aerosols Academic Article uri icon


  • The optical and radiative properties of dust particles in solar and thermal infrared regions are investigated. Dust particles are assumed to be spheres and spheroids for a comparison aimed at understanding the nonsphericity effect of these particles on the radiation at the top of a dusty atmosphere. The classical Lorenz-Mie theory is employed to compute the optical properties of spherical dust particles. To compute the single-scattering properties of spheroidal dust particles, a combination of the T-matrix method and an approximate method is used in the present study. In the approximate method, applicable to large particles, the geometric optics method is applied to the computation of the scattering phase matrix. A combination of the solution from the geometric optics method and the contribution of the so-called edge effect is used to compute the extinction efficiency of a spheroidal particle whose absorption efficiency is computed by adding the so-called above- and below-edge effect (a term from the well-known complex angular momentum theory) to the geometric optics result. Numerical results show that the results from the T-matrix method and the present approximate approach converge at a size parameter of 50 for computing the integrated scattering properties (i.e., the extinction efficiency, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry factor). Additionally, the phase functions computed from the two methods are quite similar for size parameters larger than 40 although some considerable differences may still be noticed for other phase matrix elements. Furthermore, the effect of surface roughness on the single-scattering properties of spheroidal particles is discussed. The present radiative transfer simulations illustrate the nonsphericity effect of dust particles is significant at short wavelengths, however, not at the thermal infrared wavelengths. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, P., Feng, Q., Hong, G., Kattawar, G. W., Wiscombe, W. J., Mishchenko, M. I., ... Sokolik, I. N.

citation count

  • 138

publication date

  • January 2007