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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  29 Oct 2020

29 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

A revised mineral dust emission scheme in GEOS-Chem: improvements in dust simulations over China

Rong Tian, Xiaoyan Ma, and Jianqi Zhao Rong Tian et al.
  • Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD)/Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China

Abstract. 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 −196.29 μg m−3 and −52.79 % to −47.72 μg −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.

Rong Tian et al.

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Rong Tian et al.


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Latest update: 24 Nov 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We improve the treatments of dust emission process in GEOS-Chem by considering the effect of geographical variation of aerodynamic roughness length, smooth roughness length, soil texture, as well as Owen effect and more physically-based formulation of sandblasting efficiency, which together improve the estimated threshold friction velocity and dust concentrations over China. Our study highlights the importance of incorporation of realistic land-surface properties in dust emission scheme.
We improve the treatments of dust emission process in GEOS-Chem by considering the effect of...