Atmospheric environment

Long range trans-Pacific transport and deposition of Asian dust aerosols

HAN Yongxiang , FANG Xiaomin , ZHAO Tianliang , KANG Shichang


Received June 05, 2007,Revised November 15, 2007, Accepted , Available online

Volume 20,2008,Pages 424-428

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The deposition of Asian dust aerosols during their trans-Pacific transport might cause significant marine phytoplankton biomass increases. However, the knowledge of the trans-Pacific dust transport, deposition, and spatial distribution is still poor due to a lack of continuous and simultaneous observations in the Asian subcontinent, the north Pacific Ocean, and North America. The severe Asian dust storm during 6 to 9 April 2001 provided an opportunity to gain a better understanding of trans-Pacific dust transport and deposition, using a comprehensive set of observations from satellites, ground-based light detection and ranging, aircraft, and surface observation networks. The observations and model simulations outline the general pattern of dust transport, deposition, vertical profile, and spatial distribution. The following points were observed: (1) the surface dust concentrations decreased exponentially with the increasing dust transport distance from 80 E to 120 W along the transport pathway; (2) the altitude of the dust concentration peak increased with increasing transport distance in the north Pacific region; and (3) the spatial distribution of dust deposition mainly depended on the trans-Pacific transport route.

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