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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-857
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-857
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 28 Sep 2018

Research article | 28 Sep 2018

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

Climatology in Asian dust activation and transport based on MISR satellite observations and trajectory analysis

Yan Yu1, Olga V. Kalashnikova2, Michael J. Garay2, and Michael Notaro3 Yan Yu et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
  • 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
  • 3Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA

Abstract. Asian dust, primarily emitted from the Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts, has been reported to reach remote destinations, such as North America. However, the relative contribution of the Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts to dust loadings through long-range transport remains unaddressed in any observational study. Here, the climatology of Asian dust activation and transport is investigated using stereo observations of dust sources from the Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument combined with observation-initiated trajectory modeling. MISR-derived dust injection height and dust plume motion vectors confirm the peak of dust activation and transport potential in spring over the Gobi Desert and in both spring and summer over the Taklamakan Desert. The long-range transport patterns of Asian dust, including the influence on North America through trans-Pacific transport, are assessed using extensive forward trajectories initiated by MISR dust plume observations. The trajectory analysis reveals latitude-dependent influence of dust from the Taklamakan and Gobi deserts, with Taklamakan dust dominantly affecting to the south of 50°N and Gobi dust primarily affecting to the north of 50°N in North America. The Asian dust activation and transport exhibit substantial seasonal and interannual variability, motivating future studies on the potential drivers.

Yan Yu et al.
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Short summary
Asian dust has been reported at remote destinations, such as North America. However, the relative contribution of the Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts, the major Asian dust sources, remains unaddressed in observation. Here, satellite observations of dust plume characteristics and trajectory modeling suggest latitude-dependent influence of dust from the two deserts, with Taklamakan dust dominantly affecting to the south of 50° N and Gobi dust primarily affecting to the north of 50° N in North America.
Asian dust has been reported at remote destinations, such as North America. However, the...
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