Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 1173–1189, 2009
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 1173–1189, 2009

  16 Feb 2009

16 Feb 2009

Saharan dust transport and deposition towards the tropical northern Atlantic

K. Schepanski1,2, I. Tegen1, and A. Macke2 K. Schepanski et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany

Abstract. We present a study of Saharan dust export towards the tropical North Atlantic using the regional dust emission, transport and deposition model LM-MUSCAT. Horizontal and vertical distribution of dust optical thickness, concentration, and dry and wet deposition rates are used to describe seasonality of dust export and deposition towards the eastern Atlantic for three typical months in different seasons. Deposition rates strongly depend on the vertical dust distribution, which differs with seasons. Furthermore the contribution of dust originating from the Bodélé Depression to Saharan dust over the Atlantic is investigated. A maximum contribution of Bodélé dust transported towards the Cape Verde Islands is evident in winter when the Bodélé source area is most active and dominant with regard to activation frequency and dust emission. Limitations of using satellite retrievals to estimate dust deposition are highlighted.

Final-revised paper