1Department of Earth System Science and Technology, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
2Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
3National Institute for Environmental Study, Tsukuba, Japan
4National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Virginia, USA
5NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, USA
Abstract. A four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) data assimilation system for a regional dust model (RAMS/CFORS-4DVAR; RC4) is applied to a heavy dust event which occurred between 20 March and 4 April 2007 over eastern Asia. The vertical profiles of the dust extinction coefficients derived from NIES LIDAR observation network are directly assimilated. We conduct two experiments to evaluate impacts of selections of observation sites: Experiment A uses five Japanese observation sites located only downwind of dust source regions; the other Experiment B uses these sites together with two other sites near source regions (China and Korea). Validations using various observation data (e.g., PM10 concentration, MODIS AOT, OMI Aerosol Index, and the dust extinction coefficient derived by space-based LIDAR NASA/CALIPSO) are demonstrated. The modeled dust extinction coefficients are improved considerably through the assimilation. Assimilation results of Experiment A are consistent with those of Experiment B, indicating that observations of Experiment A can capture the dust event correctly and include sufficient information for dust emission inversion. Time series of dust AOT calculated by modeled and LIDAR dust extinction coefficients show good agreement. At Seoul, Matsue, and Toyama, assimilation reduces the root mean square errors of dust AOT by 31–32%. Vertical profiles of the dust layer observed by CALIPSO are also compared with assimilation results. The dense dust layer was trapped between θ=280–300 K and elevated higher toward the north; the model reproduces those characteristics well. The modeled dust AOT along the orbit paths agrees well with the CALIPSO dust AOT, OMI AI, and the coarse mode AOT retrieved from MODIS; especially the modeled dust AOT and the MODIS coarse mode AOT are consistent quantitatively. Assimilation results increase dust emissions over the Gobi Desert and Mongolia considerably; especially between 29 and 30 March, emission flux is increased by about 2–3 times. The heavy dust event is caused by the heavy dust uplift flux over the Gobi Desert and Mongolia during those days. We obtain the total optimized dust emissions of 57.9 Tg (Experiment A; 57.8% larger than before assimilation) and 56.3 Tg (Experiment B; 53.4% larger).