Trans-Pacific dust transport: integrated analysis of NASA/CALIPSO and a global aerosol transport model
1Department of Earth System Science and Tech., Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
2Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
3National Institute for Environmental Study, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
4National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Virginia, USA
Abstract. Detailed 3-D structures of Trans-Pacific Asian dust transport occurring during 5–15 May 2007 were investigated using the NASA/CALIOP vertical-resolved measurements and a three-dimensional aerosol model (SPRINTARS). Both CALIOP and SPRINTARS dust extinctions showed a good agreement along the way of the transport from the dust source regions across North Pacific into North America. A vertically two-layered dust distribution was observed over the northeastern Pacific and North America. The lower dust layer originated from a dust storm generated in the Gobi Desert on 5 May. It was transported at an altitude of around 4 km MSL and has mixed with Asian anthropogenic air pollutants during the course of transport. The upper dust layer mainly originated from a dust storm that occurred in the Taklimakan Desert 2–3 days after the Gobi dust storm generation. The upper dust cloud was transported in higher altitudes above the major clouds layer during the Trans-Pacific transport. It therefore has remained unmixed with the Asian air pollutants and almost unaffected by wet removal. The decay of its concentration level was small (only one-half after its long-distance transport crossing the Pacific). Our dust budget analysis revealed that the Asian dust flux passing through the longitude plane of 140° E was 2.1 Tg, and one third of that arrived North America. The cases analyzed in this study revealed that, while the Gobi Desert is an important source that can contribute to the long-range dust transport, the Taklimakan Desert appears to be another important source that can contribute to the dust transport occurring particularly at high altitudes.