Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 21507-21540, 2013
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Source, transport and impacts of a heavy dust event in the Yangtze River Delta, China in 2011
X. Fu1, S. X. Wang1,2, Z. Cheng1, J. Xing1,3, B. Zhao1, J. D. Wang1, and J. M. Hao1,2
1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Sources and Control of Air Pollution Complex, Beijing 100084, China
3US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Abstract. During 1 to 6 May 2011, a dust event was observed in the Yangtze River Delta region (YRD). The highest PM10 concentration reached over 1000 μg m−3 and the visibility was below 3 km. In this study, the Community Multi-scale Air Quality modeling system (CMAQ5.0) coupled with an in-line windblown dust model was used to simulate the formation, spatial and temporal characteristics of this dust event, and analyze its impacts on deposition and photochemistry. The threshold friction velocity for loose smooth surface in the dust model was revised based on Chinese data to improve the model performance. The comparison between predictions and observations indicates the revised model can reproduce the transport and pollution of the event. The simulation results show that the dust event was affected by formation and transport of Mongolian cyclone and cold air. Totally about 695 kt dust particles (PM10) were emitted in Xinjiang Province and Mongolia during 28 to 30 April, the dust band swept northern, eastern China and then arrived in the YRD region on 1 May 2011. The transported dust particles increased the mean surface layer concentrations of PM10 in the YRD region by 372% during 1 to 6 May and the impacts weakened from north to south due to the removal of dust particles along the path. Accompanied by high PM concentration, the dry deposition, wet deposition and total deposition of PM10 in the YRD reached 184.7 kt, 172.6 kt and 357.32 kt, respectively. These deposited particles are very harmful because of their impacts on urban environment as well as air quality and human health when resuspending in the atmosphere. Due to the impacts of mineral dust on atmospheric photolysis, the concentrations of O3 and OH were reduced by 1.5% and 3.1% in the whole China, and by 9.4% and 12.1% in the YRD region, respectively. The work of this manuscript is meaningful for understanding the dust emissions in China as well as for the application of CMAQ in Asia. It is also helpful to understand the formation mechanism and impacts of dust pollution in the YRD.

Citation: Fu, X., Wang, S. X., Cheng, Z., Xing, J., Zhao, B., Wang, J. D., and Hao, J. M.: Source, transport and impacts of a heavy dust event in the Yangtze River Delta, China in 2011, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 21507-21540, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-21507-2013, 2013.
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