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Aeolian dust: initiator, player, and recorder of environmental change

The interactions between aerosols, climate, and weather are among the large uncertainties of current atmospheric research. Mineral dust is an important natural source of aerosol with significant implications on radiation, cloud microphysics, atmospheric chemistry and the carbon cycle via the fertilization of marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

In addition, properties of dust deposited in sediments and ice cores are important (paleo-)climate indicators.

This interdivision session --building bridges between the EGU divisions CL, AS, SSP, BG and GM-- is open to contributions dealing with:

(1) measurements of all aspects of the dust cycle (emission, transport, deposition, size distribution, particle characteristics) with in situ and remote sensing techniques,

(2) numerical simulations of dust on global and regional scales,

(3) meteorological conditions for dust storms, dust transport and deposition,

(4) interactions of dust with clouds and radiation,

(5) influence of dust on atmospheric chemistry,

(6) fertilization of ecosystems through dust deposition,

(7) any study using dust as a (paleo-)climate indicator including sediment archives in loess, ice cores, lake sediments, ocean sediments and dunes.

We especially encourage to submit papers on the integration of different disciplines and/or modelling of past, present and future climates.

In 2021 we look forward to hear three solicited speakers present their latest work.

We are proud to announce:

1) Siyu Chen, professor at Lanzhou University, China.
Siyu will present her work on modelling emission, transport and radiative effects of Asian mineral dust

2) Kevin Ohneiser, PhD student at TROPOS, Leipzig, Germany

Kevin will present his latest findings on aerosols observed during the MOSAIC campaign

3) Jeff Munroe, professor at Middlebury College, USA

Jeff will present his latest findings from the DUST^2 project; a source-to-sink investigation of the modern dust system in SW North America

Share: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU21/session/40684

Co-organized by AS3/BG3/GM8/SSP3, co-sponsored by ISAR
Convener: Jan-Berend Stuut | Co-conveners: Martina KloseECSECS, Joanna Nield, Mingjin TangECSECS
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Fri, 30 Apr, 09:00–10:30

Chairpersons: Jan-Berend Stuut, Mingjin Tang

5-minute convener introduction

Siyu Chen

Approximately 90% of people worldwide breathe air that contains high concentrations of particulate matter (PM) pollution. Anthropogenic dust (AD), as a crucial component of PM, can be interpreted as dust emitted by modifying or disturbing soil particles through direct (e.g., construction and driving of vehicles) and indirect (e.g., wind erosion over agricultural land, grassland, dry lakes, etc.) human activities. The compositions and properties of AD are more complex and variable than those of natural dust (ND). Current studies on dust aerosols have mostly focused on ND emissions, transport, and climate effects. However, the quantitative knowledge of the sources, characteristics, and impacts of AD is inadequate.

To comprehensively reproduce the AD emissions process, both “indirect” and “direct” AD emission were constructed to simulate AD emissions originated from diverse kinds of source regions in the study. Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) retrievals were utilized as the constraint of AD simulations. Results showed that using both indirect and direct AD emission schemes show good performance on reproducing the spatio-temporal distributions of AD at the global scale. Compared with natural dust emissions, indirect AD emissions show an indistinctive seasonal variation, with seasonal differences generally less than 0.42 μg m−2 s−1. Among indirect AD emissions, pasturelands produce more AD particles emission into the atmosphere than croplands at approximately 0.28 μg m−2 s−1, contributing 75.9% of indirect AD emissions. The developing regions emit much higher direct AD emissions than those from developed regions. In addition, AD-induced surface radiative cooling of up to -10.0 W m-2 regionally, especially in the developing countries. The estimated global total premature mortality due to AD is 0.7 million deaths per year and is more severe in populous regions.

How to cite: Chen, S.: Numerical simulations of anthropogenic dust, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1062, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1062, 2021.

Diana Francis et al.

This study investigates the underlying atmospheric dynamics associated with intense dust storms in summer 2018 over the Arabian Peninsula (AP); a major dust source at global scale. It reports, for the first time, on the formation of cyclone over the Empty Quarter Desert as important mechanism for intense dust storms over this source region. The dust direct and semi-direct radiative forcings are observed, for the first time over this source region, using high-resolution in-situ and CERES-SYN satellite observational data. The three-dimensional structure and evolution of the dust storms are inferred from state-of-the-art satellite products such as SEVIRI, AEROIASI and CALIPSO. The dynamics and thermodynamics of the boundary layer during this event are thoroughly analyzed using ERA5 reanalysis and ground based observations.

We found that a large dust storm by Shamal winds led up, through radiative forcing, to cyclone development over the Empty Quarter Desert, subsequent dust emissions, development of convective clouds and rain. The cyclogenesis over this region initiated a second intense dust storm which developed and impacted the AP for 3 consecutive days. The uplifted dust by the cyclone reached 5 km in altitude and altered the radiative budget at the surface, inducing both significant warming during night and cooling during day. The dust load uplifted by the cyclone was estimated by the mesoscale model Meso-NH to be in the order of 20 Tg, and the associated aerosol optical depth was higher than 3. The model simulates reasonably the radiative impact of the dust in the shortwave but highly underestimated its impact in the LW.

Our study stresses the importance of the dust radiative forcing in the longwave and that it should be accurately accounted for in models to properly represent the impact of dust on the Earth system especially near source areas. Missing the warming effect of dust aerosols would impact both the weather and air quality forecast, and the regional climate projections.

These results were published in November 2020 in the journal Atmospheric Research doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2020.105364.

How to cite: Francis, D., Chaboureau, J.-P., Nelli, N., Cuesta, J., and Alshamsi, N.: Summertime dust storms over the Arabian Peninsula and impacts on radiation and atmospheric circulation., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-439, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-439, 2021.

Robabeh Yousefi et al.

Atmospheric aerosols considered as one of the main concerns in the ongoing climate change. Meteorological changes have a significant role in the inter-decadal Aerosols variation. In this talk, long term (2000-2019) aerosol optical depth (AOD) and metrological factors data from the reanalysis-based Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA-2) were used provide deep insight into the relationship between meteorological factors and AOD variability over Iran during the dusty season (MJJA: May, June, July, and August). Prior to regression analyses, Iran was divided into three parts based on the climatological conditions (west part: dusty area, north part: wetter, and center: dry area). Using a multiple linear regression model, AOD variability over Iran was significantly linked to sea level pressure and soil moisture. Winter surface temperatures and relative humidity are the main contributors to MJJA AOD variability over the western and northern parts.  AOD was not affected by precipitation. Our results suggested that climatic variations strongly affect the dust cycle, with a strong dependence on wintertime conditions in the region.

How to cite: Yousefi, R., Wang, F., Ge, Q., and Shaheen, A.: Contribution of meteorological factors to AOD variability during the dusty season over Iran, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1349, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1349, 2021.

reza modarres and Poria Mohit Esfahani

Dust storms are frequent phenomenon in arid and semi arid regions of Iran which cover near 60 percent of the entire country in the center of Iran. Due to geographic and climatic conditions of prolonged dry conditions as well as poor land use management, dust storms occur in almost all seasons across the region. Drought is a major fator affecting the likelihood of dust storm occurrence across arid regions of Iran. We develop copula functions to investigate the effect of drought on dust storm frequency.The standardized precipitation Index (SPI) was caluclated and drought condition was defined based on SPI< -0.5. Dought severity and duration for each drought event were ca;culated and the number of dust days in each drought event ws also identified. The Archimedean copula families shoed that the probability of dust occurrence has a significant relationship to extreme drought conditions. The joint probability is then used to derive the joint return period of dust storms in relation to drought condition.

How to cite: modarres, R. and Mohit Esfahani, P.: Dust storm frequency in relation to extreme droughts in arid regions of Iran, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1810, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1810, 2021.

Mingxing Wang et al.
Jie Yang and Tianliang Zhao

In this study, we used the sandstorm data of 233 meteorological stations in northern China, conventional meteorological observation data and MODIS-NDVI data in the 40 years from 1980 to 2019 to analyze the spatio-temporal variation of sandstorms in northern China and its related meteorological effects in this century.

The results show that: 1) The average number of sandstorm days in northern China has been fluctuating and decreasing since the beginning of this century, and increasing from 2017 to 2019. Spring is the main season of dust storm, and the springtime proportion of sandstorm days decreases year by year. 2) In the 1980s and 1990s, sandstorms covered almost covered the whole northwest region; Since the beginning of this century, the range of sandstorm days in the whole Northwest China has shown an obvious decadal downward trend. The spatial pattern of sandstorm days in northern China has been shrinking and moving westward since 2000, and the dominant position of the Gobi Desert in the Asian dust source region has been decreasing year by year. The high sandstorm days were located in the Taklimakan Desert with the increasing trend of sandstorm days year by year. 3) The temporal and spatial variation of sandstorm days in northern China is closely related to the increase of vegetation cover with the greenness and wetness of the land surface, the decreases of average wind speed and gale days, and the significant increase of annual precipitation in northern China after 2000.

How to cite: Yang, J. and Zhao, T.: Temporal and spatial variations of sandstorm and the related meteorological influences over northern China in the 21st century, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14615, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14615, 2021.

Priyanka Banerjee et al.

Several studies have associated high dust years over South Asia to warming of the central or eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (El Nino conditions) and the resulting weakening of the summer monsoon. Using satellite aerosol data for 2001-2018, we show that there has been a departure from this relation since the second decade of the 21st century with the North Atlantic Ocean emerging as a major driver of interannual variability of dust over South Asia. This change in relation coincides with the end of the global warming hiatus and a shift towards persistent positive phase of the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Positive phase of the NAO induces cold phase of the spring/summer North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) tripole pattern. We show here that high dust activity during 2011-2018 is associated with positive SST anomaly over the mid-latitude North Atlantic and negative SST anomaly over the sub-tropical North Atlantic: the two southern arms of the SST tripole pattern. Interestingly, the relation between NAO and these two southern arms of the SST tripole has undergone changes in recent years, which has impacted the South Asian monsoon. The result is general drying over South Asia and an increase in the strength of the dust-carrying northwesterlies. Simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) shows that SST tripole-like anomalies recorded during 2011-2018 over the North Atlantic can generate mid-latitude wave train that weakens the South Asian monsoon circulation, leads to surface high pressure anomalies and increase in dust emission and transport over northwest India and Pakistan. Most of the increase in the dust load can be attributed to enhanced transport at 800 hPa pressure level during May-June, which can lead to ~40-50% increase in dust concentrations at this level.

How to cite: Banerjee, P., Satheesh, S. K., and Krishna Moorthy, K.: Recent dust variability over South Asia controlled by North Atlantic SST anomalies, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12649, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12649, 2021.

Enza Di Tomaso et al.

Desert dust is the most abundant aerosol by mass residing in the atmosphere. It plays a key role in the Earth’s system by influencing the radiation balance, by affecting cloud formation and cloud chemistry, and by acting as a fertilizer for the growth of phytoplankton and for soil through its deposition over the ocean and land.

Due to the nature of its emission and transport, atmospheric dust concentrations are highly variable in space and time and, therefore, require a continuous monitoring by measurements. Dust observations are best exploited by being combined with model simulations for the production of analyses and reanalyses, i.e., complete and consistent four dimensional reconstructions of the atmosphere. Existing aerosol (and dust) reanalyses for the global domain have been produced by total aerosol constraint and at relatively coarse spatial resolution, while regional reanalyses exclude some of the regions containing the major sources of desert dust in Northern Africa and the Middle East.

We present here a 10-year reanalysis data set of desert dust at a horizontal resolution of 0.1°, and which covers the domain of Northern Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The reanalysis has been produced by assimilating in the MONARCH chemical weather prediction system (Di Tomaso et al., 2017) satellite retrievals over dust source regions with specific dust observational constraint (Ginoux et al., 2012; Pu and Ginoux, 2016).

Furthermore, we describe its evaluation in terms of data assimilation diagnostics and comparison against independent observations. Statistics of analysis departures from assimilated observations prove the consistency of the data assimilation system showing that the analysis is closer to the observations than the first-guess. Temporal mean of analysis increments show that the assimilation led to an overall reduction of dust with pattern of systematic corrections that vary with the seasons, and can be linked primarily to misrepresentation of source strength.

Independent evaluation of the analysis with AERONET observations indicates that the reanalysis data set is highly accurate, and provides therefore a reliable historical record of atmospheric desert dust concentrations in a recent decade.


Di Tomaso, E., Schutgens, N. A. J., Jorba, O., and Pérez García-Pando, C. (2017): Assimilation of MODIS Dark Target and Deep Blue observations in the dust aerosol component of NMMB-MONARCH version 1.0, Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 1107-1129.

Ginoux, P., Prospero, J. M., Gill, T. E., Hsu, N. C. and Zhao, M. (2012): Global-Scale Attribution of Anthropogenic and Natural Dust Sources and Their Emission Rates Based on Modis Deep Blue Aerosol Products. Rev Geophys 50.

Pu, B., and Ginoux, P. (2016). The impact of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on springtime dust activity in Syria. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16(21), 13431-13448.


The authors acknowledge the DustClim project which is part of ERA4CS, an ERA-NET initiated by JPI Climate, and funded by FORMAS (SE), DLR (DE), BMWFW (AT), IFD (DK), MINECO (ES), ANR (FR) with co-funding by the European Union (435690462); PRACE (eDUST/eFRAGMENT1/eFRAGMENT2), RES (AECT-2020-3-0013/AECT-2019-3-0001/AECT-2020-1-0007) for awarding access to MareNostrum at BSC and for technical support.

How to cite: Di Tomaso, E., Escribano, J., Ginoux, P., Basart, S., Macchia, F., Barnaba, F., Castrillo, M., Formenti, P., Jorba, O., Mona, L., Montané, G., Mytilinaios, M., Obiso, V., Schutgens, N., Votsis, A., Werner, E., and PérezGarcía-Pando, C.: A 10-year regional reanalysis of desert dust aerosol at high spatial resolution, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11644, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-11644, 2021.

Nicolas Cosentino et al.

The magnitude of the climate forcing associated with mineral dust aerosols remains uncertain, due in part to a lack of direct observations on dust source areas. While modeling and satellite studies provide spatially extensive constraints, these studies must be supported by surface-validating, in situ dust monitoring. Our study focuses on Patagonia, the main source of dust to the southern oceans (>45ºS), a region of low biological productivity potentially susceptible to increased micronutrient fertilization through dust deposition and associated atmosphere‐to‐ocean CO2 flux. This mechanism is hypothesized to have contributed significantly to the last interglacial‐to‐glacial climatic transition. However, the dust‐phytoplankton biomass connection remains contentious for the present‐day climate system.

We analysed multi-year time series of surface dust-related visibility reduction (DRVR) and dust mass sampling at four downwind coastal monitoring sites, along with key meteorological time series at these same sites. We find that local DRVR across Patagonia is partly controlled by long-term water deficit (i.e., months), while same-day conditions play a smaller role, reflective of water retention properties of fine-grained dust-emitting soils in low-moisture conditions. This conclusion is supported independently by reanalysis data showing that large-scale dust outbreaks are usually associated with anomalously high long-term water deficit. By combining visibility data with surface dust sampling we were able to derive emission rates associated with regional patches of dust-emitting surfaces and test the skill of dust emission schemes to simulate dust activity close to the sources. Our results suggest that the inclusion of long-term hydrologic soil balance may improve the performance of dust emission schemes in climate models.

We also analyzed the impact of southernmost Patagonian dust emissions on southwestern Atlantic Ocean continental shelf and proximal open ocean satellite chlorophyll‐a concentration. We used the DRVR and mass flux time series of the southernmost site to model dust emission, transport, and deposition to the ocean. We then performed a dust event‐based analysis of chlorophyll‐a time series, using a novel approach by which time series are corrected for post‐depositional particle advection due to ocean currents. Finally, we performed total iron determinations, release experiments and iron solid speciation analysis in dust samples. Iron is a key micronutrient limiting phytoplankton biomass in high‐nutrient, low‐chlorophyll oceans such as offshore of the 200‐m isobath off Patagonia. We find no compelling evidence for an influence of dust as an enhancer of phytoplankton biomass either on shelf or proximal open ocean waters of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. For open ocean waters this is consistent with a lack of source‐inherited bioavailable iron in dust samples. Future case studies addressing similar questions should concentrate on dust sources with identified high contents of bioavailable iron, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere where atmospheric processing of iron-bearing particles is weak.

How to cite: Cosentino, N., Gaiero, D., Ruiz-Etcheverry, L., Lambert, F., Bia, G., Simonella, L., Coppo, R., Torre, G., Saraceno, M., and Tur, V.: Present-day Patagonian dust emissions: Mass flux constraints, meteorological triggers and the effect on phytoplankton biomass, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-156, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-156, 2020.

Qiaoqiao Wang et al.

The frequent transport of Sahara dust toward Europe degrades the air quality and poses risk to human health. In this study we use GEOS-Chem (a global transport model) to examine the impact of Sahara dust on air quality and the consequent health effect in Europe for the year 2016–2017. The simualtion is conducted in a nested model with the native resolution of 0.25° × 0.3125° (Latitude × Logitude) over Europe (32.75°N–61.25°N, 15°W–40°E). The simulation on a global scale with a coarse horizontal resolution of 2° × 2.5° is also conducted to provide the boundary condition for the nested-grid simulation as well as aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the Sahara desert for model evaluation.

The model performance is evaluated by comparisons with surface observations including aerosol optical depth (AOD) from AERONET, and PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations from numerous air quality monitoring stations in European countries. Overall, the model well reproduces observed surface PM concentrations over most European countries with some underestimation in southern Europe. In addition, model AOD is highly correlated with AERONET data over both Sahara and European region.

The spatial distribution of dust concentrations, frequency of dust episodes, as well as the exposure and health effects are studied. The concentrations of Sahara dust decrease from 5–20 μg m-3 in south to 0.5–1.0 μg m-3 in north of Europe. Spain and Italy are most heavily influenced by Sahara dust in terms of both concentration levels and frequencies of occurrence. Strong dust episodes (>50 μg m-3) occur predominately in Southern Spain and Italy with frequency of 2–5%, while light dust episodes (>1 μg m-3) are often detected (5–30%) in Central and Western Europe.

The population-weighted dust concentrations are higher in Southern European countries (3.3–7.9 μg m-3) and lower in Western European countries (0.5–0.6 μg m-3). The health effects of exposure to dust is evaluated based on population attributable fraction (PAF). We use the relative risk (RR) value of 1.04 (95% confidence intervals: 1.00 – 1.09) per 10 µg m-3 of dust exposure based on the main model of Beelen et al. (2014). We estimate a total of 41884 (95% CI: 2110–81658) deaths per year attributed to the exposure to dust in the 13 European countries studied. Due to high contribution to PM10 in Spain, Italy and Portugal, dust accounts for 44%, 27% and 22% of the total number of deaths linked to PM10 exposure, respectively.

How to cite: Wang, Q., Gu, J., and Wang, X.: The impact of Sahara dust on air quality and public health in European countries, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9625, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9625, 2021.

Jianqi Zhao et al.

In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) is employed to simulate a dust process in Northwest China during May 2018. The model's ability to simulate the dust process in Northwest China is firstly evaluated using various satellite-retrieved and observational data. The four-dimensional assimilation method is also used to optimize meteorological data and effectively improve the simulation of the dust process.


Fig. 1. Differences of wind field (unit: m/s) between the simulations (a-d: unassimilated; e-h: assimilated) and the observations at 03:00 UTC on 20–23 May.

The comparisons between the simulations based on five dust emission schemes within WRF-Chem and the observations show that, the Shao01 scheme overall has good performance in simulating the emission flux, the spatial pattern of source region, as well as the spatiotemporal variation of dust mass concentration, during this dust process. In comparison to Shao01, the GOCART AFWA and Shao04 schemes can also produce quite similar spatial pattern of dust source region, but tend to overestimate or underestimate dust emission and mass concentration. The Shao11 scheme fails to simulate the dust process since the importance of the fully disturbed particle size distribution is omitted. It is also noted that the GOCART scheme can well reproduce dust emission processes under weak wind erosion but underestimate dust emission flux under strong wind erosion. In addition, the GOCART scheme has produced some spurious emissions and thus blurred the distribution of dust source region.

Fig. 2. The averaged dust emission flux (unit: μg/m2/s) from the GOCART (a), GOCART AFWA (b), Shao01 (c), Shao04 (d) and Shao11 (e) schemes during 17–23 May.

Fig. 3. Variations of daily (a) and hourly (b) surface PM10 concentrations, friction velocity (c) and 10 m wind speed (d) at the Turpan station during 17–23 May.

Northwest China is covered by mountains, basins, deserts and other landforms, thus the complex terrain is one of the key factors to influence the dust process over the region. Our study shows that after being emitted, the airborne dust transported toward the east and west. The dust to the east was diffused rapidly, but the portion toward the west was blocked and accumulated at the edges of the mountains and thus produced dust weather characterized by high dust concentration and long lifetime. The dust accumulated at the edges of the mountains could reach an altitude of more than 6 km due to wind and thermal effect, and finally arrive at Tibetan Plateau and eastern China.

Fig. 4. The simulated (with Shao01 scheme) dust (unit: μg /m3) transport path (a-c) during 20–23 May and vertical profiles of 38.5°N (d) and 85°E (g) at 05:00 UTC on 21 May, 36°N (e) and 95° E (h) at 06:00 UTC on 22 May and 36°N (f) and 98°E (i) at 05:00 UTC on 23 May.

How to cite: Zhao, J., Ma, X., Wu, S., and Sha, T.: Dust emission and transport in Northwest China: WRF-Chem simulation and comparisons with multi-sensor observations , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4677, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4677, 2021.

Rong Tian et al.

Mineral dust plays a significant role in climate change and air quality, but large uncertainties remain in terms of dust emission prediction. In this study, we improved the treatments of dust emission process in a Global 3-D Chemical Transport model (GEOS-Chem) v12.6.0, by incorporating the geographical variation of aerodynamic roughness length (Z0), smooth roughness length (Z0s), soil texture, introducing Owen effect and Lu and Shao (1999) formulation of sandblasting efficiency α. To investigate the impact of the modifications incorporated in the model, several sensitivity simulations were performed for a severe dust storm during March 27, 2015 to April 2, 2015 over northern China. Results show that simulated threshold friction velocity is very sensitive to the updated Z0 and Z0s field, with the relative difference ranging from 10% to 60% compared to the original model with uniform value. An inclusion of Owen effect leads to an increase in surface friction velocity, which mainly occurs in the arid and semi-arid regions of northwest China. The substitution of fixed value of α assumed in original scheme with one varying with friction velocity and soil texture based on observations reduces α by 50% on average, especially over regions with sand texture. Comparisons of sensitivity simulations and measurements show that the revised scheme with the implement of updates provides more realistic threshold friction velocities and PM10 mass concentrations. The performance of the improved model has been evaluated against surface PM10 observations as well as MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD) values, showing that the spatial and temporal variation of mineral dust are better captured by the revised scheme. Due to the inclusion of the improvement, average PM10 concentrations at observational sites are more comparable to the observations, and the average mean bias (MB) and normalized mean bias (NMB) values are reduced from -196.29μg m-3 and -52.79% to -47.72μg m-3 and -22.46% respectively. Our study suggests that the erodibility factor, sandblasting efficiency and soil-related properties which are simply assumed in the empirical scheme may lack physical mechanism and spatial-temporal representative. Further study and measurements should be conducted to obtain more realistic and detailed map of these parameters in order to improve dust representation in the model. 

How to cite: Tian, R., Ma, X., and Zhao, J.: A revised mineral dust emission scheme in GEOS-Chem: improvements in dust simulations over China, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9167, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9167, 2021.

Eleni Drakaki et al.

Mineral dust is an important component of the climate system, affecting radiation, cloud formation, biogeochemical cycles, as well as having negative effects on solar energy budget and human health. All these processes are affected from the size of the particles which is significantly underestimated by the Earth System Models. Here, we present results from a first attempt to modify the size distribution parameterizations in the GOCART-AFWA dust scheme of WRF - Chem, by including the large dust particles with diameters greater than 20 µm to describe the mineral dust cycle. The parameterization is based on Saharan dust observational datasets from FENNEC and SAMUM campaigns. We investigate the impact of the extended size distribution on the overall transported dust load and also the impact of particle settling considerations in deposition rates. The model results are compared with airborne dust measurements from AER-D campaign. In order to achieve the best agreement with the observations, an artificial force that counteracts gravity approximately by 80% for the large particles is needed, indicating the presence of one or more under-represented physical processes in the model.

Acknowledgment: This research was supported by D-TECT (Grant Agreement 725698) funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. 

How to cite: Drakaki, E., Tsekeri, A., Amiridis, V., Solomos, S., Gkikas, A., Proestakis, E., Spyrou, C., Mallios, S., Marinou, E., Ryder, C. L., and Katsafados, P.: A modeling insight into the transport of large dust particles, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7374, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-7374, 2021.

Ove Haugvaldstad et al.

The aeolian dust deposits in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) contain valuable information about past environmental changes in Asia. Unlocking this information requires knowledge on the Asian dust sources and dust transport mechanisms, and how the different source regions contribute to the total dust loading and deposition over the CLP.  By studying the dust transport and deposition under present day conditions using the Lagrangian Particle Dispersion model,  FLEXPART,  and the FLEXDUST dust emission model, we aim to better understand the dust signal in the Chinese loess records to constrain their interpretation as paleoclimate proxies.  

Here we present results from a 20 year simulation of transport and deposition of aeolian dust over the CLP from 1999 until 2019, during the dust event season March until May. Both FLEXPART and FLEXDUST are driven by ERA5 ECMWF meteorological reanalysis data. FLEXPART is set up in a receptor oriented configuration, where many computational particles are released from the receptor points at each timestep. The computational particles are followed for 5 days backward in time probing for possible source regions. The end product is emission sensitivity, i.e. how sensitive the receptor is to emissions in possible source regions. The emission sensitivity establishes a linear relation between the source and receptor. Therefore, multiplying the emission sensitivity with the dust emission flux estimated by FLEXDUST produces a map of the source contribution for each receptor point. To investigate the difference in source regions between the fine and coarse dust, we include two particle sizes, 2 μm and 20 μm, in our simulation. The output from the model is compared against Asian polar vortex (APV) and Asian winter monsoon indices to identify how changes in the large scale atmospheric circulation affect the interannual variation of dust transport and deposition, and to determine whether the amount of deposited dust over the CLP is primarily governed by changes in the emission strength or by changes in the atmospheric circulation.  

How to cite: Haugvaldstad, O., Tang, H., Kaakinen, A., and Strodal, F.: Aeolian dust sources, transport and deposition over the Chinese Loess Plateau during 1999-2019: A study using the FLEXDUST and FLEXPART models, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3870, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3870, 2021.

Elena Malinovskaya et al.

Saltations, secondary knock-out of particles, and their rolling over the surface in the abrasion process are the main source of micron- and submicron-sized particles near the surface [1]. Zones with different aerosol generation rates and wiping dynamics emerge around growing aeolian structures [3,4]. On the leeward slope, larger particles remain in the embedding zone and abrasion is less active. On the windward slope, fractions of smaller size accumulate in the zone of cascade capture of layers by wind [2], and abrasion is predominant.


The occurrence of aeolian forms varies in time depending on their height. Three areas are considered: 1-3 m, 1-3 cm, <1 cm. The effect of changes in wind direction at intervals of a few hours changes the length of zones near aeolian structures. Thus, the cascade trapping zone expands and the accumulation zone narrows. Aeolian microstructures on the surface of the windward slope decrease the length of the cascade capture zone, leaving structures with a height > 1 cm almost unchanged.


We consider a sample of data from summer field measurements obtained in the evening with close values of air temperature (30-32°C) and wind speeds (6.1-6.5 m/s). Observations were made on a perennial patch of unfixed sands about 1.5 km long and 200-300 m wide at 5 km to the west of Naryn Khuduk settlement (Kalmykia, 2010-2020). The lines of dune ridges for this area extend approximately in the latitudinal direction.


Based on the empirical functions of aerosol size and mass distribution, the classification related to the wind direction in relation to the line of windward and leeward slopes connection was obtained. When the wind direction changes from frontal to tangential along the slopes, mass concentrations of coarse aerosol fraction increase. This can be related to the processes of chipping for newly involved large particles from the layers of the leeward slope setting zone. The phenomenon is also illustrated by the observed emergence on the surface of a ripple with a ridge spacing of 10-30 cm during the next day of a micro-ridge with a period of 1-2 cm. For the windward slope line change model [5], it was obtained that the fraction of detached particles decreases with the growth of new structures. The presence of aeolian ripples [6] and larger particles generally reduces the fraction of particles moving in the wind flow.  There is weakening of wiping intensity at collision and reduction of concentration of submicron particles as a result, as compared to the case of absence of developed microrelief. The type of aerosol distribution function is influenced by the size of the embedding and cascade trapping zones and the composition of the layer of particles involved in collisions and displacements near the surface.

The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation project 20-17-00214.


1.Houser C.A., Nickling W.G. Sedimentology. 48(2). 255,. (2001)

2.Chepil W.S. Soil Science  60(4) 305.(1945)

3.Anderson R. Sedimentology 34, 943 (1987).

4.Hoyle R., Woods A. Phys. Rev. E 56, 6861 (1997).

5.Malinovskaya E.A. Izvestiya. Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics 55(2) 218 (2019)

6. Malinovskaya E. et al. EGU2019-3693-1 (2019)


How to cite: Malinovskaya, E., Chkhetiani, O., and Maksimenkov, L.: On the relationship of aeolian relief, microrelief and wind direction with the concentration of dust aerosol in the near-surface layer, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14013, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14013, 2021.

Martina Klose et al.

Soil dust aerosol created by wind erosion of arid and semi-arid surfaces dominates climate effects over large areas of the Earth. To represent the dust cycle, Global Earth System Models (ESMs) typically prescribe preferential dust sources phenomenologically using empirical source scaling functions. While this approach has helped to compensate for a lack or inaccuracy of soil and surface input data to models, it potentially limits progress in the representation of the global dust cycle, because such strong empirical constraints make models less sensitive to parameters known to affect dust emission, and thus potentially insensitive to changes in climate. Here we investigate the link between surface roughness due to non-erodible elements such as vegetation, pebbles and rocks, and the spatial patterns of dust activity. Using two different satellite-based methods to represent roughness within an atmospheric dust transport model, we evaluate the impact of surface roughness on the spatial distribution of dust optical depth occurrence frequency observed from satellite by both reducing the atmospheric momentum available for particle entrainment and protecting the surface from dust emission. We test the variability of our results across conceptually different parameterizations of dust emission and drag partition. Our results suggest that the spatial patterns of dust activity are largely determined by surface roughness, not only in semi-arid, but also in arid regions, where green vegetation is sparse or absent. 

How to cite: Klose, M., Pérez García-Pando, C., Ginoux, P., and Miller, R. L.: Impact of surface roughness on dust occurrence frequency over arid regions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8233, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8233, 2021.

María Gonçalves Ageitos et al.

Dust aerosols consist on a variety of minerals with different physic and chemical properties. As such, they interact with short and long wave radiation, potentially form clouds, act as nutrients modulating biogeochemical cycles, or influence atmospheric chemistry, differently. Most current state-of-the-art Earth System Models (ESMs) neglect the complexity in dust composition, mainly due to computational constraints, but also to the existing uncertainties in the size resolved composition of parent soils, the resulting distribution of minerals in airborne dust, and the scarcity of observations to constrain them.

Within this work, we assess the variability of global dust composition due to uncertainties in the characterization of the parent soil mineralogy. To that end, we consider two available global soil mineralogy atlases, developed by Claquin et al. (1999) –C1999- and Journet et al. (2014) –J2014-, which represent respectively 8 and 12 relevant minerals for climate (namely: illite, smectite/montmorillonite, kaolinite, calcite, gypsum, hematite, quartz, and feldspars in C1999, and those plus chlorite, vermiculite, goethite, and mica in J2014). Thanks to a recently developed feature of the MONARCH atmospheric-chemistry model, we are able to explicitly resolve the minerals’ atmospheric cycle. Therefore, we define two global experiments to assess changes on airborne dust composition attributed to the soil mineralogy assumptions and provide a measure of their variability. We also perform a preliminary evaluation of the global mineralogy results against available observations of mineral fractions in surface dust concentration.

Our results will inform the climate modelling community about the potential variability in dust composition, an aspect that will gain relevance as ESMs continue growing in complexity and new processes to better characterize aerosols’ forcing or biogeochemical cycles are added. Further observational constraints, such as those that will derive from the EMIT NASA mission on soil composition or the FRAGMENT experimental campaigns on airborne dust characterization, will be key in the near future to improve our understanding of the impact of dust mineralogy on fundamental climate features.

How to cite: Gonçalves Ageitos, M., Dawson, M., Obiso, V., Klose, M., Miller, R., Jorba, O., and Pérez García-Pando, C.: Variability in modelled airborne dust mineralogy derived from global soil composition uncertainties, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10848, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10848, 2021.

Thomas Audoux et al.

In the semi-arid Sahel region, wet deposition can represent more than half of the total annual deposition and are associated to different rainfall types, from stratiform precipitation to convective systems. Surface parameters such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction as well as rainfall rate can be used to distinguish these situations. We investigate the behaviour of dust wet deposition at the event-scale based on a multiannual (2007 to 2016) monitoring of wet deposition fluxes, PM10 concentration, precipitation and meteorological parameters in two Sahelian stations Banizoumbou (Niger, 13.54°N, 2.66 E) and Cinzana (Mali, 13.28°N, 5.93°W) of the INDAAF network. Rainfall events have been classified into three types: (i) stratiform, convective associated with (ii) weak precipitation or (iii) intense precipitation. This classification is based on selected criteria regarding evolutions of surface temperature, of wind speed and direction before and after the rainfall onset as well as on the event rainfall rate. Based on an interpretation of hundreds of single events, almost 25% of wet deposition events are associated with non-convective situation, more than 40% with atmospheric convective situation and weak precipitation, and more than 35% events with atmospheric convective situation combined with intense precipitation. This exhaustive work over a long-time period of measurements illustrates the predominance of convective situations regarding wet deposition in the two Sahelian stations. Washout ratios (WR) have been computed from PM10 concentrations, precipitation and deposition fluxes for each kind of events when data were concomitant. The dependency of WR to precipitation amount is shown to differ depending on the rain types. For instance, the decreasing dependency of WR with the precipitation amount of non-convective events has been quantified and could be explained by a dilution effect of the deposition. On the contrary, no clear dependency of WR with the precipitation has been observed for atmospheric convective conditions associated with intense rainfall rate.

How to cite: Audoux, T., Laurent, B., Marticorena, B., Bergametti, G., Rajot, J. L., Féron, A., and Gaimoz, C.: Multiannual study of convective and stratiform situations associated to wet deposition of desert dust in the Sahelian band, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4359, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4359, 2021.

Manuel Gutleben et al.

Aeolian Saharan mineral dust particles can be transported over long distances. Great amounts of Saharan mineral dust particles are transported westwards over the Atlantic Ocean towards the Caribbean islands especially during the boreal summer months. During the transport they can either have a direct environmental effect by absorbing, emitting and scattering radiation or an indirect effect by changing cloud micro-physical properties and by modifying cloud lifetime or formation.

Our recent studies indicate that elevated transported Saharan dust layers, so-called Saharan Air Layers (SALs), come along with enhanced concentrations of water vapor compared to the surrounding atmosphere. Radiative transfer simulations reveal that not the dust particles inside the SALs but the enhanced concentrations of water vapor play the dominant role for atmospheric heating in dust-laden subtropical regions. In this way water vapor has the potential to impact both atmospheric stability and turbulent properties not only inside the SALs but also at lower atmospheric levels.  To study the effects of water vapor on atmospheric turbulence and stability in SAL-regions, we performed wavelet analyses as well as calculations of power spectra on the basis of airborne lidar backscatter and water vapor measurements by the DLR lidar system WALES during the NARVAL-II research campaign. For an in-depth investigation of SAL-properties, several research flights during NARVAL-II were designed to lead over dust-laden regions upstream the Caribbean island of Barbados. Our analysis shows that water vapor heating does not only have an effect on the stability and turbulence of SALs by maintaining their confining inversions and promoting vertical mixing in their interior, but also hinders the development of shallow marine convection below.

In our presentation we will give an overview of the performed measurements and radiative transfer simulations as well as of the conducted stability and turbulence analyses by means of calculated power spectra and wavelet analyses.

How to cite: Gutleben, M., Groß, S., and Wirth, M.: Impacts of long-range-transported Saharan dust layers on atmospheric stability and turbulence in the trades, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7063, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-7063, 2021.

Jan-Berend Stuut et al.

Mineral dust plays an important role in the ocean’s carbon cycle through the input of nutrients and metals which potentially fertilise phytoplankton, and by ballasting organic matter from the surface ocean to the sea floor. However, time series and records of open-ocean dust deposition fluxes are sparse. Here, we present a multi-year time series of Saharan dust collected by dust-collecting buoys that are monitoring dust in the equatorial North Atlantic Ocean as well as by moored sediment traps at the buoys' positions at ~21°N/21°W and ~11°N/23°W. We present dust-flux data as well as particle-size distribution data, and make a comparison of the dust collected from the atmosphere at the ocean surface with the dust settling through the ocean and intercepted by the submarine sediment traps. See: www.nioz.nl/dust

How to cite: Stuut, J.-B., Guerreiro, C., Brummer, G.-J., and van der Does, M.: Present-day Saharan dust observed over the Atlantic Ocean, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7449, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-7449, 2021.

Eleni Marinou et al.

For the in-orbit calibration and validation of the Aeolus products, ESA organized the Aeolus Tropical campaign, which will take place on June-July 2021 at Cape Verde region. During the campaign, Aeolus underfights will be performed with several aircrafts (by DLR, NASA, LATMOS, and the University of Nova Gorica (UNG)) and advanced ground-based instrumentation will be deployed in Mindelo island within ASKOS (https://askos.space.noa.gr/) experiment. ASKOS observations will provide an unprecedented dataset for the aerosol and wind conditions in the region, in order to provide reference values for the Cal/Val of the mission. Apart from the main aerosol Cal/Val objective of ASKOS, the foreseen synergistic activities will provide a wealth of information to address scientific questions posed by the participating groups on dust characterization, transportation and it’s impact of radiation and cloud formation.

Here, we report on the status of the ASKOS preparations for the evaluation of the aerosol and cloud product, focusing on the instrumentation requirements and availability, as well as the engagement of the scientific community so far. ASKOS will deploy advanced ground-based and airborne remote sensing and in-situ instrumentation, including the full ACTRIS aerosol and cloud remote sensing/in-situ facilities and airborne in-situ sensors to be operated on drones and/or aircrafts. The main ground-based remote sensing instrumentation in Cape Verde will consist of sophisticated lidar systems, including the EVE lidar, a circular polarization system that is tailored to mimic the Aeolus measurement from ground, the multi-wavelength Polly-XT and the WALL-E prototype for detecting particle orientation. The instrumentation will also include sun-photometers such as AERONET-CIMEL, but also polarimeters to advance microphysical retrievals for non-spherical particles such as dust. Cloud remote sensors including a cloud radar and a microwave radiometer will operate in parallel along with meteorological radiosondes. In-situ sensors at surface and onboard UAVs and light aircrafts will be available. ASKOS will be fully supported by several operational modeling simulations for meteorological and atmospheric composition forecasting. ASKOS will remain open to contributions from other communities and research groups and more synergies will be pursued in the future.


How to cite: Marinou, E., Amiridis, V., Mavropoulou, I., Baars, H., Kazadzis, S., Rosoldi, M., Ene, D., Barreto, A., Casadio, S., Zenk, C., Sciare, J., Mocnik, G., Kandler, K., Stuut, J.-B., Rodrigez, S., Knipertz, P., Rutz, T., Komppula, M., Daskalopoulou, V., and Hloupis, G. and the ASKOS team: The ASKOS experiment for the validation of Aeolus L2A aerosol product , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13781, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13781, 2021.

Meet the authors in their breakout text chats

Fri, 30 Apr, 11:00–12:30

Chairpersons: Martina Klose, Joanna Nield

Kevin Ohneiser et al.

The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) expedition, lasting from September 2019 to October 2020, was the largest Arctic research initiative in history. The goal of the expedition was to take the closest look ever at the Arctic as the epicenter of global warming and to gain fundamental insights that are key to better understand global climate change. We continuously operated a multiwavelength aerosol/cloud Raman lidar aboard the icebreaker Polarstern, drifting through the Arctic Ocean trapped in the ice from October to May, and monitored aerosol and cloud layers in the Central Arctic up to 30 km height at latitudes mostly > 85°N. The lidar was integrated in a complex remote sensing infrastructure aboard Polarstern. A polarization Raman lidar is designed to separate the main continental aerosol components (mineral dust, wildfire smoke, anthropogenic haze, volcanic aerosol). Furthermore, the Polarstern lidar enabled us to study the impact of these different basic aerosol types on the evolution of Arctic mixed-phase and ice clouds.  The most impressive and unprecedented observation was the detection of a persistent, 10 km deep aerosol layer of aged wildfire smoke over the North Pole region between 8 and 18 km height from October 2019 until the beginning of May 2020. The wildfire smoke layers originated from severe and huge fires in Siberia, Alaska, and western North America in 2019 and may have contained mineral dust injected into the atmosphere over the hot fire places together with the smoke. We will present the main MOSAiC findings including a study of a long-lasting mixed-phase cloud layer evolving in Arctic haze (at heights below 6 km) and the role of mineral dust in the Arctic haze mixture to trigger heterogeneous ice formation. Furthermore, we present a case study developing in the smoke-dominated layer around 10 km height.

How to cite: Ohneiser, K., Engelmann, R., Ansmann, A., Radenz, M., Griesche, H., Hofer, J., Althausen, D., Bühl, J., Baars, H., Seifert, P., and Haarig, M.: Lofted aerosol layers over the North Pole during the winter period 2019-2020 measured during MOSAiC , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2677, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2677, 2021.

Alexandra Tsekeri et al.

The new polarization lidar nicknamed “WALL-E” is designed to monitor dust orientation. Dust orientation has not been extensively investigated for the Earth’s atmosphere, where dust is considered to be randomly-oriented. For monitoring dust orientation, the new polarization lidar emits linearly- and elliptically-polarized light at 1064 nm and detects the linear and circular polarization of the backscattered light. This is done with two lasers emitting in an interleaved fashion, and two telescopes collecting the backscattered light from both lasers. The measurements are performed at variable viewing angles and provide direct flags of dust orientation, along with more detailed information on particle microphysics. The first measurements for dust in Athens are presented.



Acknowledgements. The work is supported by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Horizon 2020 research and
innovation framework program/ERC grant agreement 725698 (D-TECT). We acknowledge PRACE for awarding us access to MareNostrum
at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Spain. The work was supported by computational time granted from the Greek Research &
Technology Network (GRNET) in the National HPC facility - ARIS - under project ID pa170906-ADDAPAS, pr005038-REMOD and pr009019-EXEED.

How to cite: Tsekeri, A., Freudenthaler, V., Amiridis, V., Doxastakis, G., Louridas, A., Georgoussis, G., Metallinos, S., Gasteiger, J., Siomos, N., Paschou, P., Georgiou, T., Tsaknakis, G., Evangelatos, C., and Binietoglou, I.: Polarization lidar for detecting dust orientation: first measurements, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13039, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13039, 2021.

Josef Gasteiger et al.

The size distribution of desert dust is a central parameter, e.g., for the dust climate effect and the fertilization of oceans and rain forests. The uncertainties of size distribution measurements, however, are large for which the nonsphericity of dust particles is a major reason. Optical particle counters (OPCs) are frequently used for size distribution measurements and possible reasons for uncertainties include (a) the fact that nonspherical dust particles fly with individual orientations through the sampling volume of the OPC while the scattering signals and derived sizes depend on particle orientation, (b) the variability of particle shape, and (c) uncertainties about which definition of particle size is best suited for nonspherical dust.

To test the consistency between OPC measurements and independent measurements with other instruments types (e.g., a nephelometer or a lidar) closure experiments can be performed. In such experiments, size distributions derived from OPC measurements are used as input for model calculations of specific optical parameters which then are compared to independent measurements of the same optical parameters (e.g. scattering or backscattering coefficient) of the same aerosol. Deviations have been reported in the literature for desert dust. These deviations may be caused by the particle nonsphericity affecting the derivation of size distributions from OPC as indicated above but may also have other causes, e.g., using a wrong refractive index or assuming spherical particles for calculating the specific optical parameters. So far, the OPC nonsphericity effect has not been investigated in detail. A better understanding of this effect would be helpful for our understanding of size distribution uncertainties and of reasons for deviations in closure experiments.

In order to gain insight into the OPC nonsphericity effect, we performed simulations for different combinations of OPCs and instruments measuring specific optical parameters. Irregular dust-like shapes over a wide size range and different refractive indices were considered. Firstly, the deviations of the derived sizes from the original particle sizes were analyzed. Secondly, the derived sizes were used for Mie simulations of the optical parameters and the deviations from those of the original irregularly-shaped particle were calculated. In this respect, e.g., nephelometer responses and lidar-relevant parameters were simulated to reproduce possible closure experiments. These results will be compared to measurement-based closure experiments performed during field campaigns or in a laboratory in order to investigate how well the OPC nonsphericity effect explains observed discrepancies.

The simulated closure experiments show, for example, an overestimation of the scattering coefficient at λ=532nm by about 5% to 34% (depending on size range) when using size distributions derived from the DMT CAS instrument (λ=658nm, 4°-12° scattering angle) assuming non-absorbing dust particles. Using the TSI OPS model 3330 (λ=660nm, 30°-150° scattering angle) deviations in the range from -16% to +16% are found.

How to cite: Gasteiger, J., Walser, A., Dollner, M., Teri, M., and Weinzierl, B.: Model-based closure experiments with optical particle counters for dust-like aerosols, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4752, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4752, 2021.

Carlos Pérez García-Pando et al.

The physical and chemical properties of dust, i.e. its particle size distribution (PSD), mineralogical composition, shape and mixing state determine its climate effects. However, the lack of experimental data and understanding of the emitted dust and its relationship with the parent sediment and atmospheric forcing limit the extension of climate and dust models to account for potentially important regional variations in dust properties. In this context, the FRontiers in dust minerAloGical coMposition and its Effects upoN climate (FRAGMENT) project is dedicated to understand, constrain and calculate the global mineralogical composition of dust along with its effects upon climate. In September 2019, we conducted an intensive dust field campaign as a part of FRAGMENT near M’hamid El Ghizlane in Morocco, at the edge of the Sahara Desert. During the measurement period, dust events occurred frequently (about every 1-2 days) with varying intensity.


In this contribution, we provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of the sediment and airborne samples collected, and of the time-resolved measurements of dust concentration, PSD, optical properties and atmospheric forcing. We use mineralogical analyses of wet-sieved (totally disturbed) and dry-sieved (minimally disturbed) sediment samples at high particle-size resolution to better understand the fragmentation of sediment aggregates during wind erosion. We analyse the temporal variability of the number and volume PSDs along with the associated size-resolved dust emission fluxes using data from three optical particle counters deployed at different heights. We discuss the size-resolved particle composition, morphology, and mixing-state of the suspended dust determined by single particle analysis with electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray detection from samples collected on sticky carbon substrates with cascade impactors, flat-plate samplers, and free-wing impactors. Finally, scattering coefficients at 450, 525 and 635 nm and seven different angles (from 0º to 90º) obtained with a polar nephelometer and absorption coefficients at 370, 470, 520, 590, 660, 880 and 950 nm obtained with an aethalometer are used to analyse the variability of extensive and intensive optical parameters, such as scattering and absorption Ångström exponents (SAE and AAE), backscatter fraction (BF) and multi-wavelength single scattering albedo (SSA) for both PM2.5 and PM10 dust fractions in combination with PSD and meteorological measurements.

How to cite: Pérez García-Pando, C., González-Florez, C., González-Romero, A., Panta, A., Yus-Díez, J., Alastuey, A., Kandler, K., Klose, M., Querol, X., Reche, C., Pandolfi, M., Dupont, S., Etyemezian, V., Nikolich, G., Escribano, J., Clark, R., Elhmann, B., Greenberger, R., Tajeddine, K., and Ivančič, M.: Towards understanding the size distribution, composition and optical properties of freshly emitted dust and its relationship with the parent sediment, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13606, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13606, 2021.

Jun Li et al.

Salt particles from saline lakes and playas play important roles in many processes related to atmospheric chemistry and climate system, especially active in aerosol and cloud formations due to their high hygroscopicity and efficient ice nucleation ability. However, physiochemical natures of these salts are relatively poorly understood due to their chemical complexity. Deepened understandings on playa-origin aerosol particles are desired and are expected to improve current climate models. Only a few studies have investigated the climate impacts of the salts from saline lakes and playas, from the perspectives of hygroscopicity, cloud condensation nuclei activity and ice nucleation ability.1-3

In this study, the investigated salts are collected from the Qaidam Basin, which is one of the largest regions of saline lakes and playas on Earth. Four saline lake areas (Chaka, Keke, Qarhan and Mang’ai) are selected as the sampling sites, and four forms of samples are compared, including lake brines, crystalized brines, lakebed salts and crust salts. The cations (Na+, K+, Mg2+ and Ca2+) and anions (Cl, SO42−, and NO3) are simultaneously measured by the ion chromatography. A vapor sorption analyzer is used to measure the hygroscopic properties. To thoroughly understand the hygroscopic behaviors, the AIOMFAC model is used to predict the deliquescence RH (DRH) based on the chemical matrix of each sample.

From the ionic composition perspective, the crystalized brines and the brines show similar ionic textures, indicating that the crystalized brines well reflect the complex mineral composition of brines. In contrast, the natural solid salts, including lakebed salts and crust salts, show distinct mineral compositions from the brines, i.e., mainly NaCl, regardless of chemical composition of nearby lakes, suggesting that halite is the prevailing salt on the massive landscape exposed to the atmosphere. The hygroscopicity experimental results are well described by the AIOMFAC model, based on the ionic composition. The results show that the water uptake by crystalized salts is initialized by MgCl2 at RH 30-40%. For natural salts, the hygroscopic behavior is similar to NaCl except for the QH lakebed salt, which is co-influenced by both NaCl and KCl. The findings presented in this study improve our understandings of the physical and chemical properties of surface salts spread across the Qaidam Basin, and the implications to climate systems on Planet Earth and Mars are discussed.



1 K. A. Koehler et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 112 (2007)

2 K. A. Pratt et al., J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. 115, D15301 (2010) 17.

3 M. Tang et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 124 (2019) 10844.

How to cite: Li, J., Liu, W., Zhang, X., Wang, S., and Kong, X.: Chemical and Hygroscopic Characterization of Surface Salts in Qaidam Basin: Implications for Climates, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1208, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1208, 2021.

Mingjin Tang et al.

Despite its importance, hygroscopicity of mineral dust aerosol remains highly uncertain. In this work, we investigated water adsorption and hygroscopicity of different mineral dust samples at 25 ∘C, via measurement of sample mass at different relative humidity (RH, up to 90 %) using a vapor sorption analyzer. Mineral dust samples examined (21 in total) included seven authentic mineral dust samples from different regions in the world and 14 major minerals contained in mineral dust aerosol. At 90 % RH, the mass ratios of adsorbed water to the dry mineral ranged from 0.0011 to 0.3080, largely depending on the BET surface areas of mineral dust samples. The fractional surface coverages of adsorbed water were determined to vary between 1.26 and 8.63 at 90 % RH, and it was found that the Frenkel–Halsey–Hill (FHH) adsorption isotherm could describe surface coverages of adsorbed water as a function of RH well, with AFHH and BFHH parameters in the range of 0.15–4.39 and 1.10–1.91, respectively. The comprehensive and robust data obtained would largely improve our knowledge of hygroscopicity of mineral dust aerosol.

How to cite: Tang, M., Chen, L., Peng, C., and Gu, W.: On mineral dust hygroscopicity, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-576, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-576, 2021.

Wanyu Liu et al.

Salt aerosol from saline lakes and playas has been recognized to affect climate in the global scale, but the understandings of the chemical and physical natures of these salts are still limited due to their complex chemical composition. The Qaidam Basin, one of the largest and driest deserts on Earth, is composed of many saline lakes and is regarded as a good terrestrial analogue for Mars due to similar environment conditions and elementary composition(Xiao et al., 2017). The study on the chemical characteristics of salts from Qaidam Basin is helpful to explore their influences on climate and reveal the physical and chemical factors affecting the paleoclimate of both Planet Earth and Mars.


In this study, four types of salt samples (brines, crystalized brines, lakebed salts and crust salts) collected at and near four saline lakes (Chaka, Keke, Qarhan and Mang’ai) in the Qaidam Basin are studied for their physicochemical characteristics. The common cations (Na+, K+, Mg2+ and Ca2+) and anions (Cl, SO42−, and NO3) are determined by ion chromatography (IC), and the elemental compositions are measured by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometry. The chemical composition results are analyzed by positive matrix factorization (PMF)(Paatero and Tapper, 1994). The pH of sample brines and solutions are measured, and the governing factors are discussed.


The common elements detected by XRF and IC have excellent consistency. Notably, the crystalized brines exhibit similar ionic compositions with brines, suggesting that the crystalized brines well reflect the complex mineral composition of brines and evaporative crystallization can be used for brine preservation. However, the natural solid salts (lakebed salts and crust salts) present obvious composition differences. Mg2+ and SO42- are primarily found in brines, while the natural solid salts are dominated by NaCl and KCl. The pH of the brines and salt solutions are found to correlate to Mg2+ concentrations and potentially affected by ambient CO2 uptake. The electrical conductivities of sample solutions are not linearly scaled by the dilution factors, indicating that balanced reactions and buffer systems exist in the salt textures. Three interpretable factors are identified by the PMF analysis, and the differences of sample types and sampling sites are clearly reflected by the three factors. The lakebed salts (except for the QH lakebed salt) presented excellently correlation with the crust salts, and the crystalized salts are greatly correlated with the brines. This study improves the understandings of the physiochemical features of saline lake and playa salts in Qaidam Basin, and the roles that surface salts potentially play in the climate systems of both Planet Earth and Mars are discussed.



Paatero, P., and Tapper, U., Environmetrics, 5, 111-126, 1994.

Xiao, L., Wang, J., Dang, Y., et al., Earth-Sci Rev, 164, 84-101, 2017.

How to cite: Liu, W., Li, J., Santos, L., Boman, J., Zhang, X., Wang, S., and Kong, X.: Chemical Characterization of Saline Lake and Playa Salts in Qaidam Basin: Implications for Climates of Planet Earth and Mars, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1233, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1233, 2021.

Ye Kuang et al.

Secondary aerosol (SA) frequently drives severe haze formation on the North China Plain. However, previous studies mostly focused on submicron SA formation, thus our understanding of SA formation on supermicron particles remains poor. In this study, PM2.5 chemical composition and PM10 number size distribution measurements revealed that the SA formation occurred in very distinct size ranges. In particular, SA formation on dust-dominated supermicron particles was surprisingly high and increased with relative humidity (RH). SA formed on supermicron aerosols reached comparable levels with that on submicron particles during evolutionary stages of haze episodes. These results suggested that dust particles served as a medium for rapid secondary organic and inorganic aerosol formation under favorable photochemical and RH conditions in a highly polluted environment. Further analysis indicated that SA formation pathways differed among distinct size ranges. Overall, our study highlights the importance of dust in SA formation during non-dust storm periods and the urgent need to perform size-resolved aerosol chemical and physical property measurements in future SA formation investigations that are extended to the coarse mode because the large amount of SA formed thereon might have significant impacts on ice nucleation, radiative forcing, and human health.

How to cite: Kuang, Y., Xu, W., Liang, L., He, Y., Cheng, H., Bian, Y., Tao, J., Zhang, G., Zhao, P., Ma, N., Zhao, H., Zhou, G., Su, H., Cheng, Y., Xu, X., Shao, M., and Sun, Y.: Dust-dominated coarse particles as a medium for rapid secondary organic and inorganic aerosol formation in highly polluted air, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13816, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13816, 2021.

Paola Formenti et al.

As emphasized by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), aerosols contribute the largest uncertainty to global radiative forcing budget estimates. The uncertainty stems largely from the lack of information related to global aerosol distributions, composition, and aging effects in the atmosphere, all of which affect aerosol radiative properties.

Of the two major categories of aerosols, natural and anthropogenic, natural aerosols remain the largest source of the uncertainty. This limits our capacity to measure and attribute total climate forcings. Without a firm understanding of total climate forcing, our ability to predict its evolution over time diminishes and limits the development of adaptation strategies for future climate change.

Aerosolized mineral dust is the largest single component of the global aerosol mass budget, making up nearly half of annual particle emissions to the atmosphere. Mineral dust aerosols influence the global climate through both direct interactions with radiation (scattering and absorption in the visible and IR regions) as well as indirect interactions with radiation (by serving as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) or ice nuclei (IN)). One potentially important aspect of dust aerosols is that they are able to uptake and heterogeneously react with gases. Henceforth, mineral dust may also play a significant but mostly unknown role in secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation in the atmosphere.

While the combination of the complex reaction pathways and processing mechanisms inherent to the dust/organic system is hampering our understanding of dust and organic aerosols on global climate, and despite a great number of progresses on climate-relevant properties of mineral dust and SOA in these past ten years, studies of the heterogeneous chemistry occurring between dust and organic species are sparse.

The CLImate relevant processing of Mineral Dust by volatile Organic compounds (CLIMDO) project tackles this under-explored science question by proposing the first comprehensive process-driven project addressing the reactivity of complex and realistic mineral dust/organic systems to better understand how dust and VOCs influence the global climate system.

CLIMDO will investigate the heterogeneous interaction of mineral dust with two of the most common organic SOA precursors: glyoxal and methylglyoxal from ubiquitous anthropogenic and biogenic sources, thought combination of innovative laboratory experiments in a well-controlled and characterized environment (the atmospheric simulation chamber CESAM) and advanced flow reactors and optical cells), the development of novel modelling schemes of both the reaction mechanisms and the resulting optical properties of mineral dust, and new simulations of the global direct radiative effect and SOA distribution using the LMDzOR-INCA.

This presentation describes the strategy and workplan of the CLIMDO project, including dissemination of results and open data, to inform the science community and foster and cluster new collaborations.

How to cite: Formenti, P., Cazaunau, M., Battaglia, F., Doussin, J.-F., Gratien, A., Michoud, V., Di Biagio, C., Pangui, E., Bergé, A., Chevaillier, S., Mirande-Bret, C., Giordano, M., Romanias, E., Zogka, A., Thévenet, F., Gaudion, V., Checa-Garcia, R., Hauglustaine, D., Cozic, A., and Balkanski, Y.: The CLImate relevant processing of Mineral Dust by volatile Organic compounds (CLIMDO) project, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14410, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14410, 2021.

Jorge Pey et al.


The DONAIRE network (Pey et al. 2020) monitors the phenomenology of geochemical, magnetic and mineralogical variations of bulk atmospheric deposition in the Iberian Peninsula- Balearic Island. In this work we focus on recent North African dust deposition with a double objective: 1) to characterize the main geochemical fingerprints with respect to other sources of pollution; 2) to perform a source apportionment study to identify different desert-dust source areas. We used one year of data (June 2016-July 2017) from 15 monitoring sites (regional and remote, urban, industrial, or agricultural). We focus here on the impact caused by the main 4 North African dust deposition events globally affected this network.

Our results evidence that dust deposition patterns are controlled by: i) the meteorological scenario behind dust transport, ii) the occurrence/absence of wet deposition, and iii) the local-to-regional nearby topography. In general, the largest dust-deposition events occur nearby mountain barriers during low-pressure systems approaching Iberia and NW Africa.

Moderate to intense dust deposition events are well characterized by their chemical composition. The Fe/Ti, Na/Al, K/Al or (Ca+Mg)/Fe ratios reveal a number of patterns across the network. For example, Fe/Ti ratio varies from around 10-13 during warm-season events to 22-35 during cold season episodes, potentially indicating different North-African dust sources.

The best source apportionment solution extracts 10 factor/sources, from which three are mineral in composition. Two of them are interpreted as different North African dust mixture-of-sources, whereas the third mineral factor corresponds to regional dust particles. The overall contribution of such desert-dust sources may explain up to 90% of total episodic deposition during the most intense events.

These results indicate that chemical fingerprinting could be used to infer the recent North African dust deposition history. Studies on lake and peatland sequences following a similar approach are in progress and preliminary data show they be used to trace Saharan dust during the Holocene and reconstruct its relationship with climate phases.



Pey J., Larrasoaña J.C., Pérez N., Cerro J.C., Castillo S. et al. (2020). Phenomenology and geographical gradients of atmospheric deposition in southwestern Europe: results from a multi-site monitoring network. Sci. Tot. Environ., 140745. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140745.



POSAHPI (PID2019-108101RB-I00) and DONAIRE (CGL2015-68993-R) projects funded by Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación and FEDER Funds.

How to cite: Pey, J., Larrasoaña, J. C., Reyes, J., Pérez, N., Cerro, J. C., Castillo, S., Mata, M. P., Orellana-Macías, J. M., Causapé, J., Valero-Garcés, B. L., Oliva-Urcia, B., Santos-González, J., and González-Gutiérrez, R. B.: Geochemical fingerprints and North-African dust sources: results from a multisite network of aerosol deposition in the south-western Europe, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10896, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10896, 2021.

Jeffrey Munroe et al.

The DUST^2 project is a new Critical Zone Thematic Cluster funded by the US National Science Foundation.  DUST^2, an abbreviation for Dust across a Desert-Urban-Summit Transect, will study the modern dust system in southwestern North America, from source to sink using a combination of methods.  Previous work has demonstrated that arid lands in the southwestern US are significant sources of mineral dust.  The amount of dust emitted increased notably following European settlement, and climate models predict future increases in dust emission in response to climate warming.  This dust is transported to the north and east by the wind, particularly during the springtime and coincident with the passage of strong frontal systems.  The properties of this natural dust are altered as it mixes with anthropogenic aerosols sourced from industry and other activities along the densely populated Wasatch Front in northern Utah.  Eventually, this dust is delivered to mountain ranges at the eastern border of the Basin and Range as well as in the Rocky Mountains.  There, dust impacts the albedo of snowpack, triggering changes in snowmelt timing and magnitude.  Dust also influences the developmental trajectories of mountain soils and alters the nutrient status of mountain ecosystems.  The six primary investigators of the DUST^2 project, along with an array of additional staff and students, will study this dust system with field and lab-based methods focused on dust emitting landscapes, dust transport modeling, dust collection in urban and mountain settings, snow monitoring and snowmelt modeling, and investigation of dust-influenced soils coupled with analysis and modeling of the cycling of dust-derived nutrients.  A major goal of this project is to incorporate researchers beyond those responsible for establishing the overall project framework.  Anyone interested in learning about ways to collaborate or become involved with the DUST^2 effort should contact a member of the project leadership team listed as authors on this abstract.

How to cite: Munroe, J., Brahney, J., Carling, G., Hahnenberger, M., Perry, K., and Skiles, S. M.: The DUST^2 Project: A source-to-sink investigation of the modern dust system in southwestern North America, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13444, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13444, 2021.

Boris Mifka et al.

Airborne desert dust is one of the most abundant aerosols and an important factor in climate
change. After deposition in the sea, mineral dust acts as the nutrient. In this study, the climatology
of desert dust deposition in the Adriatic Sea was investigated with special reference to the possible
source and mineralogical characteristics of transported dust from North Africa. The effect is
particularly examined in unique, isolated marine system, Rogoznica Lake (RL; 43° 32 ’N, 15° 58’
E) through its biological response.
For that purpose, the MERRA-2 reanalysis data for dust deposition in the period 1989-
2019 were used. Annual dust deposition cycle in the Adriatic Sea has maximum in spring and fall
with stronger deposition in central and south. Wet deposition accounts for 63-92% of total
deposition and 75% of data contains less than 1.5% of the mass. Intensity classes are defined for
the remaining 25% and each refers to about 30% of the mass. On average, over 73 days per year
is of weak, 14.6 of moderate, and 3.65 of extreme intensity, which varies spatially. In order to
detect the specific synoptic patterns for the dust transport in relation to the dust sources activity
and deposition in the Adriatic Sea, the EOF analysis on 850 hPa was utilized. Positive or negative
mode phases correspond to deposition anomalies in the Adriatic Sea and can be related to particular
dust sources in North Africa.
Given the seasonal strong physicochemical stratification, relatively small volume, and only
source of freshwater and nutrients through precipitation during stratification, the Rogoznica Lake
proved ideal for monitoring desert dust deposition events, by monitoring nutrient concentration in
the surface layer (0–2 m). For the 2000-2012 period no correlation with MERRA-2 deposition
time series were found, but biological activity as a direct consequence of nutrient increase was
observed during deposition events. Since the Adriatic Sea was proved to be phosphate (P) and iron
(Fe) limited, the mineralogical database was used to estimate the amount of deposited P and Fe
during intense deposition events.

How to cite: Mifka, B., Ciglenečki, I., and Telišman Prtenjak, M.: Climatology of dust deposition in the Adriatic Sea and biological response of Rogoznica Lake (central Adriatic), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5793, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-5793, 2021.

Katja Bohm et al.

Understanding the provenance of aeolian dust deposits is essential for identifying past atmospheric circulation patterns and sediment generation. Knowledge of dust provenance not only reveals variations in the dust transportation paths and dust availability, but also increases our understanding of the climatic and/or tectonic controls on dust emission, allowing analysis of potential climate feedbacks. A globally exceptional terrestrial archive of atmospheric dust and paleoclimate can be found in North China on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), where mineral dust deposits cover ca. 440 000 km2 and can reach thicknesses of hundreds of meters.

The late Neogene (ca. 11–2.6 Ma) dust on the CLP is known as the Red Clay. The Red Clay deposits are the products of inland Asian aridification driven by global cooling, increasing continentality, and uplift phases of Tibetan Plateau (e.g. Lu et al., 2019). Previous Red Clay provenance studies have shown that the dust originated mostly from different sources in the areas west and northwest of the CLP (e.g. Nie et al., 2018; Shang et al., 2016), and was transported by the East Asian winter monsoon and westerly winds (all winds deriving from the west of the CLP). These studies focused on bulk sediment geochemistry, heavy mineral and detrital zircon U-Pb age analyses, which to date have not allowed detailed understanding of metamorphic source regions, source region variations, and indeed leave open ambiguities over differentiating between certain potential source areas.

Here we present combined detrital rutile trace element and detrital zircon U-Pb data from the late Neogene-early Quaternary Baode Red Clay-loess section (depositional ages of 6.91–2.41 Ma) in northern CLP, as well as detrital rutile data from 14 potential sedimentary source areas. Our study aims at testing the use of rutile geochemistry in multi-proxy sourcing the CLP sediments. Rutile, a common mineral in metamorphic rocks, has the potential of testing between potential source regions that cannot be distinguished by zircon U-Pb dating, the most commonly used single-grain provenance proxy. In Baode Red Clay, some samples show very similar zircon age spectra but have notable differences in their rutile geochemistry, which verifies the need of multi-proxy single-grain provenance work. The preliminary Baode rutile data also imply that the dominant source(s) of the dust changed at least at the Neogene-Quaternary transition, a suggestion which has not always been supported by previous provenance studies and is lacking consensus.


Lu, H. et al., 2019. Formation and evolution of Gobi Desert in central and eastern Asia. Earth-Science Reviews, 194: 251-263.

Nie, J. et al., 2018. Pre-Quaternary decoupling between Asian aridification and high dust accumulation rates. Science Advances, 4(2).

Shang, Y. et al., 2016. Variations in the provenance of the late Neogene Red Clay deposits in northern China. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 439: 88-100.

How to cite: Bohm, K., Kaakinen, A., Stevens, T., Lahaye, Y., and O'Brien, H.: Provenance of the late Neogene aeolian Baode Red Clay in northern Chinese Loess Plateau by combined rutile geochemical and zircon U-Pb analysis, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4057, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4057, 2021.

Janina J. (Bösken) Nett et al.

Loess is an important archive of environmental change covering approximately 10% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface. Numerous studies have analyzed loess deposits and in particular loess-paleosol sequences. To analyze these sequences, it is important to know the spatial distribution of aeolian sediments, their location relative to potential source areas, and the geomorphology of the sink area. We investigated these aspects by compiling a new map of aeolian sediments in Europe using highly resolved geodata from 27 countries (Lehmkuhl et al., in press). To determine the most relevant factors for the European loess distribution, we further mapped potential source areas and divided the map into different facies domains. We analyzed the geomorphological and paleoenvironmental effects on the deposition and preservation of Late Pleistocene loess. Finally, the geodata-based results were compared with results obtained from high-resolved regional numerical climate-dust experiments for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in Europe, which were performed with the LGM-adapted Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem-LGM; Schaffernicht et al., 2020).  Complementing the mapping-based findings with the WRF-Chem-LGM experiments results in an improved understanding of the Late Pleistocene loess landscape in Europe.



Lehmkuhl, F., Nett, J.J., Pötter, S., Schulte, P., Sprafke, T., Jary, Z., Antoine, P., Wacha, L., Wolf, D., Zerboni, A., Hošek, J., Marković, S.B., Obreht, I., Sümegi, P., Veres, D., Zeeden, C., Boemke, B., Schaubert, V., Viehweger, J., Hambach, U. (in press). Loess landscapes of Europe – Mapping, geomorphology, and zonal differentiation. Earth-Science Reviews. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103496

Schaffernicht, E.J., Ludwig, P., Shao, Y., 2020. Linkage between dust cycle and loess of the last Glacial Maximum in Europe. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 20, 4969–4986. Doi:10.5194/acp-20-4969-2020.

How to cite: Nett, J. J. (., Lehmkuhl, F., Schaffernicht, E. J., Pötter, S., Schulte, P., Ludwig, P., Sprafke, T., and Hambach, U.: Comparing a new paleomap of European loess landscapes to an atmospheric dust circulation model, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4345, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4345, 2021.

Patrick Ludwig et al.

Different climate and environmental conditions dominated in the Carpathian Basin and the adjacent northern Italy/Adriatic region during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), as compared to today. For instance, high dust accumulation rates recorded in loess deposits point to an active dust cycle during the LGM. We investigated the climate conditions and regional dust cycle based on high-resolution (grid spacing of ~8.5 km) regional climate simulations for LGM conditions. The model output is in good agreement with proxy data, reproducing cold and dry conditions for the LGM. Highest dust emissions are simulated to the east of the Alpine ice sheet and in the Kvarner Bay region. While simulated dust deposition plumes in the northern Carpathian Basin indicate prevailing northerly (NW, N and NE) winds during dust events, strong Bora winds flowing down the slopes of the Dinaric Alps appear to play a major role in the local to regional dust cycle in the northern Adriatic region. From a seasonal perspective, the simulated dust cycle is most active during late winter and spring. A detailed analysis of climate and environmental conditions at key areas reveals that high wind speeds and low precipitation rates during late winter and spring correlate well with high dust emissions. In contrast, lower wind speeds, increasing precipitation, and the greening of vegetation prevent high dust emissions during summer and autumn. The occurrence of cyclonic circulation patterns in the Adriatic shelf region reveals that individual cyclones played an important role in transporting dust particles from the alluvial Po plain towards the eastern Adriatic loess deposition sites.

How to cite: Ludwig, P., Gavrilov, M. B., Markovic, S. B., Ujvari, G., and Lehmkuhl, F.: Simulated regional dust cycle in the Carpathian Basin and the Adriatic Sea region during the Last Glacial Maximum, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5227, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-5227, 2021.

Thomas Stevens et al.

Loess deposits are globally important dust archives but are often limited by imprecise chronological control. In particular, loess records adjacent to former ice sheets seldom have detailed, independent age models yet have the potential to elucidate the causes of past high latitude (>50° N in Northern Hemisphere) coarse dust emission close to former ice sheets, a relatively poorly known aspect of past dust dynamics. Loess deposits in southern Britain were formed in close proximity to western parts of the last glacial Eurasian ice sheets. However, currently their age and accumulation rate remain poorly known, limiting interpretation of the controls on last glacial coarse dust emission and deposition in the region.

Here we apply high sampling resolution quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) to constrain the timing of dust accumulation and loess formation at the Pegwell Bay site in east Kent, SE England. The OSL ages and Bayesian (Bacon) age modelling results are the most detailed to date for western European loess, and show that loess began to accumulate around c. 25 ka, coinciding with Heinrich event 2 and the coupling of Fennoscandian and British-Irish ice sheets. There were two phases of greatly enhanced dust accumulation at the site, at 25-23.5 ka and 20-19 ka, separated by a lower accumulation rate period. Loess accumulation appears to have stopped or been dramatically reduced after 19-18 ka. We propose that the dynamics of the British-Irish and Fennoscandian Ice Sheets, associated glacial lake drainage, and linked reorganisations of atmospheric circulation, act to control loess accumulation at the site. In particular, we argue that both periods of enhanced dust accumulation were caused by advance-retreat phases of the North Sea ice lobe, and associated drainage of Dogger Lake. These events would have led to abrupt input of sediment-rich ice dammed lake and melt water from northern and eastern England and the North Sea into the exposed southern North Sea basin. This would have dramatically increased sediment availability for transport and deposition as loess in SE England. Easterly and north-easterly winds that could have transported this dust to SE England would have been enhanced by presence of an ice sheet anticyclone, enlarged during Fennoscandian and British-Irish ice sheet coalescence, as well as katabatic winds and easterly flow occurring on the northern side of Atlantic cyclones forced south of southern Britain by the extended western British-Irish ice sheet. As such, last glacial dust dynamics and loess accumulation in Britain is highly influenced by the interaction of the British-Irish and Fennoscandian ice sheets, Atlantic storm tracks, and the topography and drainage of the exposed North Sea basin.

How to cite: Stevens, T., Sechi, D., Bradák, B., Orbe, R., Baykal, Y., Cossu, G., Tziavaras, C., Andreucci, S., and Pascucci, V.: Abrupt last glacial loess-dust deposition over Southeast England coupled with dynamics of the British-Irish Ice Sheet, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5957, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-5957, 2021.

Yunus Baykal et al.

Loess deposits are the most widespread terrestrial archive of past climate and environmental change. While several tens of metres thick loess-palaeosol sequences in central and eastern Europe record multiple glacial-interglacial cycles, substantially thinner deposits along the English Channel in north-western Europe may provide valuable “snapshots” of abrupt climatic and environmental changes in areas proximal to the North Atlantic. Recently, high-resolution luminescence dating of loess deposits at Pegwell Bay, SE England has enabled constraint of the timing of dust fall over south-east England to 25-19 ka when the British-Irish and Fennoscandian Ice sheets had coalesced and the associated strengthened high pressure system favoured dust entrainment from the exposed southern North Sea basin. Two phases of greatly enhanced dust deposition at the site are centred around 25-23.5 ka and 20-19 ka, contemporaneous with changes in North Sea ice sheet extent and ice dammed lake drainage. Such changes may have triggered abrupt flood events that would have greatly enhanced sediment supply potentially overriding the input from other sediment sources, e.g. major rivers like the Rhine. However, while the temporal link between ice sheet and dust dynamics is striking, this possibility remains untested due to lack of sufficiently source diagnostic provenance analyses of loess along the North Sea and Channel coasts. The use of single grain detrital zircon U-Pb age assemblages can discriminate different sources to loess in suitable settings. Given the geochronological heterogeneity of terranes that account for sediment input into the North Sea basin during the late last glacial ranging from Baltica in the east, Cadomia-Armorica in the south and Laurentia-Ganderia-Meguma-Avalonia in the north and west, detrital zircon ages have great promise to link changes in North Sea drainage with dust source activity. As such, high n detrital zircon age assemblages have here been analysed from two samples of loess deposited at Pegwell Bay during the two phases of enhanced dust deposition. Preliminary results indicate that glacifluvial sediments derived from both Scandinavia and Britain combined with input from major rivers draining central and western continental Europe act as dust source during the first phase while glacifluvial sediments from Britain dominate during the second phase linked to the final abrupt decay of the North Sea ice lobe. These findings based on single grain detrital zircon data alone highlight the method’s potential to detect abrupt dust source variability in a favourable scenario of heterogenous source terranes. They also emphasise the importance of abrupt changes in ice sheets and their drainage in controlling wider-scale, rapid and substantial changes in atmospheric dust emission in higher latitudes, and by extension possible subsequent climatic and environmental effects.

How to cite: Baykal, Y., Stevens, T., Sechi, D., Cossu, G., Andreucci, S., and Pascucci, V.: Detrital zircon U-Pb ages reveal ice sheet and North Sea drainage driven dust source variability recorded in late Quaternary loess deposits at Pegwell Bay, SE England, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6462, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6462, 2021.

Przemysław Mroczek et al.

High-resolution colour analyses of key loess-soil sequences (LPSs) in the Ukrainian part of Dnieper River basin - one of the major European rivers and the largest river in the borderland between Central and Eastern Europe. The subject of the study were LPSs from the Last Glaciation with a thickness of up to 10 meters. The aim of our studies is to reconstruct the Upper Pleistocene paleogeographic transformations recorded in the Dnieper LPSs.

In our study area the causative geomorphological agent was dust was blown away by wind from the exposed surfaces rich in loose fine-grained material (e.g. from a wide valley of a big river) and deposited on the land surface as silt covers of different thickness and spatial extent; in warm (interphase, interstadial) periods of the Weichselian it was fixed by vegetation and was the parent rock for the successively developing soils of different pedogenesis types. In the Last Glaciation the zone of long (~1000 km) and generally sub-meridional valley of the Dnieper River was located in the peri- and extraglacial zone and characterized by strong spatial climate gradient depending on the distance from the ice sheet extent. In our times this river flows across several vegetation-landscape zones (forest→forest-steppe→steppe).

The spectrophotometer made it possible to carry out colour analyses of individual units distinguished within LPSs, taking into account a number of parameters such as: CIELAB color space variables L* (luminance, i.e. lightness [0-100]), a* (>0: red, < 0: green), and b* (>0: yellow, < 0: blue), derived parameters like the Redness Index (RI) and the RGB variables (min., max, average). The analysed LPSs showed relatively high variability of the above mentioned parameters reflecting activity of sedimentation processes (=primary loess) as well as pedogenic changes (soil horizons of different stratigraphic rank) and slope transformations (reworked material). The results of these analyses (presented mainly as curve lines and heatmaps) specify characteristics of environmental conditions of individual litho- and pedostratigraphic units. The advantage of the analysed parameters is their high sensitivity reflecting variability of environmental parameters having global, but also regional or even just local significance.

Research carried out as part of the grant of National Science Centre, Poland as the project no. 2018/31/B/ST10/01507 entitled “Global, regional and local factors determining the palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental record in the Ukrainian loess-soil sequences along the Dnieper River Valley - from the proximal areas to the distal periglacial zone”.

How to cite: Mroczek, P., Łanczont, M., Komar, M., Hołub, B., Gozhik, P., and Nawrocki, J.: High-resolution color variations of Weichselian loess-palaeosol sequences in the Dnieper River basin (Ukraine), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15181, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15181, 2021.

Oriol Teruel et al.

The is a mounting evidence that global emissions of dust were significantly higher during glacial than interglacial periods of the Pleistocene, and probably the Pliocene epochs. this pattern is observed in records from the low and mid latitudes, albeit with a varying degree of amplitude. During these time periods spanning 4 million years, the Earth climate underwent major transitions, such as the initiation of the Northern Hemisphere Glaciations and the Mid Pleistocene Transition. In parallel, dust transport and deposition on the oceans might have underwent stepwise increases, mainly during glacials. However, it is not clear yet if such changes are representative of global or regional climate response. Thus, dust records in marine sediments reflect changes in the different processes that drive the emission, transport, and deposition of dust on the oceans. In here, we report a compilation of marine dust records spanning the Pliocene-Pleistocene from all the major ocean basins. The synthesis of dust records on a global scale allows the identification of common patterns of variability and drivers. We analyse the data to infer changes in the global atmospheric circulation on orbital time scale, and to assess its meridional and zonal response during major climate transitions since the Pliocene.

How to cite: Teruel, O., Rosell-Melè, A., and Penalva-Arias, N.: Global patterns of oceanic dust deposition during Pliocene-Pleistocene transitions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10616, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10616, 2021.

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