Easy optical characterization of mineral dust with digital holography

Finding new tools for characterizing optical properties of mineral dust is of utmost importance to increase the knowledge about aerosol and their contribution to radiative transfer through the atmosphere. Nowadays, the uncertainty in aerosol forcing is nearly as large as the forcing value itself, making their influence on climate the least understood of effects. Among aerosols, mineral dust is responsible for the most significant contribution to the dry mass particle load in the troposphere. Deviations from ideal spheres have an appreciable impact on the radiative forcing component from aerosols.

To this end, particle-by-particle optical measurements contribute significantly to an all-round characterization of mineral dust, by giving direct access to their optical properties, especially if many parameters are measured simultaneously and independently.

Here we report the dataset of dust from Antarctic ice cores with a simple and straightforward holographic method. A collimated laser beam, a microscope objective, and a digital camera allow to retrieve several optical and geometrical parameters for each particle through a simple data analysis scheme.

Optical characterization of mineral dust – DATASETS

Correspondent: Ravasio, Claudia (ORCID, claudia.ravasio@unimi.it)