Case study of dust event sources from the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts: An investigation of the horizontal evolution and topographical effect using numerical modeling and remote sensing

Jin Fan , Xiaoying Yue , Qinghua Sun , Shigong Wang


Received February 02, 2016,Revised May 08, 2016, Accepted May 16, 2016, Available online October 06, 2016

Volume 29,2017,Pages 62-70

A severe dust event occurred from April 23 to April 27, 2014, in East Asia. A state-of-the-art online atmospheric chemistry model, WRF/Chem, was combined with a dust model, GOCART, to better understand the entire process of this event. The natural color images and aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the dust source region are derived from datasets of moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) loaded on a NASA Aqua satellite to trace the dust variation and to verify the model results. Several meteorological conditions, such as pressure, temperature, wind vectors and relative humidity, are used to analyze meteorological dynamic. The results suggest that the dust emission occurred only on April 23 and 24, although this event lasted for 5 days. The Gobi Desert was the main source for this event, and the Taklamakan Desert played no important role. This study also suggested that the landform of the source region could remarkably interfere with a dust event. The Tarim Basin has a topographical effect as a “dust reservoir” and can store unsettled dust, which can be released again as a second source, making a dust event longer and heavier.

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