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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Nov 2017

Research article | 06 Nov 2017

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

African mineral dust sources: a combined analysis based on 3D dust aerosols distributions, winds and surface parameters

Sophie Vandenbussche and Martine De Mazière Sophie Vandenbussche and Martine De Mazière
  • Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, 3 Avenue Circulaire, 1180 Brussels, Belgium

Abstract. Mineral dust aerosols are a key player in the climate system. Their emissions are not yet characterised enough to ensure their good representation in climate models. The work presented here aims at a better characterisation of dust sources by a new analysis method. We use the three-dimensional dust aerosols distribution from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI), obtained with the Mineral Aerosols Profiling from Infrared Radiances (MAPIR) algorithm. The availability of vertical information on top of total column information allows to better separate emissions from transport. However, the presence of dust at the surface could also be due to low altitude transport, or to deposition processes. Therefore, to strengthen the analysis, we have completed it with an analysis of wind speed and surface state parameters (land cover, vegetation, moisture). For the more complex case of the Sahel, we have also analysed the soil type and the wind direction patterns. Our analysis highlights the well-known Saharan hot-spots, but also a less well-known significant emission place west of the Bodélé depression. The study of Sahel dust sources is a new feature for satellite-based analyses. Our results are coherent with those drawn from local ground-based measurements, allowing to extend our analysis to the entire Sahel area with confidence. We also provide a morning versus evening comparison, helping to distinguish the different emission mechanisms in play, and a small year-to-year variation analysis.

Sophie Vandenbussche and Martine De Mazière
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Sophie Vandenbussche and Martine De Mazière
Sophie Vandenbussche and Martine De Mazière
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Latest update: 21 Oct 2018
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This manuscript proposes a new multidisciplinary approach for analysing desert dust aerosols sources. Those aerosols are natural particles uplifted by winds. Part of their emissions is linked to human activities, and they impact significantly our climate. Our method is applied to North-Africa over the years 2008 to 2016, highlighting both the well-known sources and additional small source areas. We also provide the first large-scale (in time and space) analysis of Sahel dust sources.
This manuscript proposes a new multidisciplinary approach for analysing desert dust aerosols...