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

Yu, Yan; Kalashnikova, Olga V.; Garay, Michael J.; Notaro, Michael

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 potential for transport is investigated using stereo observations of dust sources from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument combined with observation-initiated trajectory modeling. MISR-derived dust plume top 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 trajectory 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 spread of dust trajectories from the Taklamakan and Gobi deserts, with Taklamakan dust dominantly affecting to the south of 50inline-formula N and Gobi dust primarily affecting to the north of 50inline-formula N in North America. The Asian dust activation and transport potential exhibit substantial seasonal and interannual variability, motivating future studies on the potential drivers.

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Yu, Yan / Kalashnikova, Olga V. / Garay, Michael J. / et al: Climatology of Asian dust activation and transport potential based on MISR satellite observations and trajectory analysis. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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