Dust plumes emitted from the narrow Arabian Red Sea coastal plain are often observed on satellite images and felt in local population centers. Despite its relatively small area, the coastal plain could be a significant dust source; however, its effect is not well quantified as it is not well approximated in global or even regional models. In addition, because of close proximity to the Red Sea, a significant amount of dust from the coastal areas could be deposited into the Red Sea and serve as a vital component of the nutrient balance of marine ecosystems. In the current study, we apply the offline Community Land Model version 4 (CLM4) to better quantify dust emission from the coastal plain during the period of 2009-2011. We verify the spatial and temporal variability in model results using independent weather station reports. We also compare the results with the MERRA Aerosol Reanalysis (MERRAero). We show that the best results are obtained with 1 km model spatial resolution and dust source function based on Meteosat Second Generation Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) measurements. We present the dust emission spatial pattern, as well as estimates of seasonal and diurnal variability in dust event frequency and intensity, and discuss the emission regime in the major dust generation hot spot areas. We demonstrate the contrasting seasonal dust cycles in the northern and southern parts of the coastal plain and discuss the physical mechanisms responsible for dust generation. This study provides the first estimates of the fine-scale spatial and temporal distribution of dust emissions from the Arabian Red Sea coastal plain constrained by MERRAero and short-term WRF-Chem simulations. The estimate of total dust emission from the coastal plain, tuned to fit emissions in MERRAero, is 7.5 ± 0.5 Mt a. Small interannual variability indicates that the study area is a stable dust source. The mineralogical composition analysis shows that the coastal plain generates around 76 ± 5 kt of iron oxides and 6 ± 0.4 kt of phosphorus annually. Over 65 % of dust is emitted from the northern part of the coastal plain.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics|
|State||Published - Jan 23 2017|
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank V. Ramaswamy and Paul A. Ginoux of GFDL for valuable discussions. We also thank Johann Engelbrecht and Linda Everett for proofreading the article. The research reported in this publication was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). For computer time, this research used the resources of the Supercomputing Laboratory at KAUST in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.