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Modeling coarse and giant desert dust particles

Drakaki, E., Amiridis, V., Tsekeri, A., Gkikas, A., Proestakis, E., Mallios, S., Solomos, S., Spyrou, C., Marinou, E., Ryder, C. L. ORCID:, Bouris, D. and Katsafados, P. (2022) Modeling coarse and giant desert dust particles. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 22 (18). pp. 12727-12748. ISSN 1680-7316

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/acp-22-12727-2022


Dust particles larger than 20 µm in diameter have been regularly observed to remain airborne during long-range transport. In this work, we modify the parameterization of the mineral dust cycle in the GOCART-AFWA dust scheme of WRFV4.2.1 to also include such coarse and giant particles, and we further discuss the underlying misrepresented physical mechanisms which hamper the model in reproducing adequately the transport of the coarse and giant mineral particles. The initial particle size distribution is constrained by observations over desert dust sources. Furthermore, the Stokes drag coefficient has been updated to account for realistic dust particle sizes (Re < 105). The new code was applied to simulate dust transport over Cabo Verde in August 2015 (AER-D campaign). Model results are evaluated against airborne dust measurements and the CALIPSO-LIVAS pure dust product. The results show that the modeled lifetimes of the coarser particles are shorter than those observed. Several sensitivity runs are performed by reducing artificially the particles' settling velocities in order to compensate underrepresented mechanisms, such as the non-spherical aerodynamics, in the relevant parameterization schemes. Our simulations reveal that particles with diameters of 5.5–17 and 40–100 µm are better represented under the assumption of an 80 % reduction in the settling velocity (UR80), while particles with sizes ranging between 17 and 40 µm are better represented in a 60 % reduction in settling velocity (UR60) scenario. The overall statistical analysis indicates that the best agreement with airborne in situ measurements downwind (Cabo Verde) is achieved with a 40 % reduction in settling velocity (UR40). Moreover, the UR80 experiment improves the representation of the vertical structure of the dust layers as those are captured by the CALIPSO-LIVAS vertically resolved pure dust observations. The current study highlights the necessity of upgrading the existing model parameterization schemes of the dust life-cycle components towards improving the assessment of the dust-related impacts within the Earth–atmosphere system.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:108361
Publisher:Copernicus Publications


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