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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-293
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-293
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Jun 2018

Research article | 26 Jun 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Quantifying the large-scale electrification equilibrium effects in dust storms using field observations at Qingtu Lake Observatory

Huan Zhang1 and Xiaojing Zheng1,2 Huan Zhang and Xiaojing Zheng
  • 1Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Disaster and Environment in Western China, The Ministry of Education of China, Department of Mechanics, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 2Research Center for Applied Mechanics, School of Mechano-Electronic Engineering, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China

Abstract. Dust/sand electrification, which is a ubiquitous phenomenon in dust events, has a potentially dramatic effect on dust/sand lifting and transport processes. However, the effect of such electrification is still largely unclear, mainly due to its complexity and sparse observations. Here, we conducted an extensive observational analysis involving mild and severe dust storms with minimum visibility, ranging from ~0.09 to 0.93km, to assess the electrical properties of airborne dust particles in dust storms. The space charge density has been estimated indirectly based on Gauss’s law. Using the wavelet coherence analysis that is a method for evaluating the correlations between two non-stationary time series in the time-frequency domain, we found that the space charge density and dust concentration were significantly correlated over the 10min timescales that is on the order of the typical integral time scale of atmospheric turbulence. We further presented a simple linear regression (SLR) model to quantify such large timescale correlations and found that there was a significant linear relationship between space charge density and dust concentration at given ambient temperature and relative humidity (RH), suggesting that the estimated mean charge-to-mass ratio of dust particles was expected to remain constant (termed as the equilibrium value μ*). In addition, the influences of ambient temperature and RH on μ* were evaluated by a multiple linear regression (MLR) model, showing that the μ* is nonlinearly related to environmental factors. The present study provides observational evidence for the environmental-dependent electrification equilibrium effects in dust storms. This finding may reduce challenges in future quantifications of dust electrification, as it is possible to exclude effects, such as the particles’ collisional dynamics, on dust electrification.

Huan Zhang and Xiaojing Zheng
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Huan Zhang and Xiaojing Zheng
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Quantifying the large-scale electrification equilibrium effects in dust storms using field observations at Qingtu Lake Observatory H. Zhang and X. Zheng https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1188752

Huan Zhang and Xiaojing Zheng
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Short summary
We conducted an extensive observational analysis involving 10 dust storms to assess the electrical properties of dust particles. Using wavelet coherence analysis, we found that the space charge density and dust concentration were highly correlated over 10 min timescales. The significant linear relationship between space charge density and dust concentration at given ambient condition suggests that the mean charge-to-mass ratio of dust particles was expected to remain constant.
We conducted an extensive observational analysis involving 10 dust storms to assess the...
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