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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2017-165
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
01 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Measurement of scattering and absorption properties of dust aerosol in a Gobi farmland region of northwest China — a potential anthropogenic influence
Jianrong Bi, Jianping Huang, Jinsen Shi, Zhiyuan Hu, Tian Zhou, Guolong Zhang, Zhongwei Huang, Xin Wang, and Hongchun Jin Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Abstract. We conducted a comprehensive field campaign on exploring the optical characteristics of mineral dust in Dunhuang farmland nearby the Gobi deserts of northwest China during spring of 2012. The day-to-day and diurnal variations of dust aerosol showed prominent features throughout the experiment, primarily attributable to frequent dust events and local anthropogenic emissions. The overall average mass concentration of the particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm (PM10), light scattering coefficient (σsp,670), absorption coefficient (σap,670), and single-scattering albedo (SSA670) were 113±169 μgm-3, 53.3 ± 74.8 Mm-1,  3.2± 2.4 Mm-1, and 0.913 ± 0.05, which were comparable to the background levels in southern United States, but smaller than that in the eastern and other northwestern China. The anthropogenic dust produced by agricultural cultivations (e.g., land planning, plowing, and disking) exerted a significant superimposed effect on high dust concentrations in Dunhuang farmland prior to the growing season (i.e., from 1 April to 10 May). Strong south valley wind and vertical mixing in daytime scavenged the pollution and weak northeast mountain wind and stable inversion layer at night favorably accumulated the air pollutants near the surface. In the afternoon (13:00–18:00 LT), mean SSA670 was 0.945 ± 0.04 that was predominant by dust particles, whereas finer particles and lower SSA670 values (~ 0.90–0.92) were measured at night, suggesting the potential influence by the mixed dust-pollutants. During a typical biomass burning event on 4 April 2012, σap,670 changed from ~ 2.0 Mm-1 to 4.75 Mm-1 and SSA670 changed from ~ 0.90 to ~ 0.83, implying remarkable modification of aerosol absorptive properties induced by human activities. The findings of this study would help to advance an in-depth understanding of the interaction among dust aerosol, atmospheric chemistry, and climate change in desert source region.

Citation: Bi, J., Huang, J., Shi, J., Hu, Z., Zhou, T., Zhang, G., Huang, Z., Wang, X., and Jin, H.: Measurement of scattering and absorption properties of dust aerosol in a Gobi farmland region of northwest China — a potential anthropogenic influence, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2017-165, in review, 2017.
Jianrong Bi et al.
Jianrong Bi et al.
Jianrong Bi et al.

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Short summary
We conducted a field campaign on exploring dust aerosol in Dunhuang farmland nearby Gobi deserts. The anthropogenic dust produced by agricultural cultivations exerted a significant superimposed effect on elevated dust loadings. Strong south wind in daytime scavenged the pollution and weak northeast wind at night favorably accumulated air pollutants near the surface. The local emissions remarkably modified the absorptive and optical characteristics of mineral dust in desert source region.
We conducted a field campaign on exploring dust aerosol in Dunhuang farmland nearby Gobi...
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