Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Model simulations of dust sources and transport in the global atmosphere: Effects of soil erodibility and wind speed variability


Global atmospheric dust is simulated using the Dust Entrainment and Deposition (DEAD) model in combination with the global-scale Oslo chemical transport model CTM2 using meteorological data for 1996. Dust sources are calculated using both mean wind speeds with model resolution T63 and subgrid wind speeds. Different data sets are used to describe soil erodibility. We explain how the different assumptions about dust production affect atmospheric dust burden and deposition. Some aspects of the annual dust cycle, such as the east Asian dust emissions, are largely dependent on the data used to determine soil erodibility. Other aspects, such as the timing of the maximum in the African plume at Northern Hemisphere summer, are well modeled with all data sets applied here. We show that the daily variation in optical depth at Cape Verde on the west coast of Africa is well simulated when we assume that erodibility is correlated with surface reflectivity from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spetroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data. Using a subgrid probability density function of wind speed to drive the dust sources facilitates dust emissions in areas with low wind speeds. Dust concentrations in remote areas are sensitive to the parameterization of wet deposition. Our results point out the need for a detailed soil erodibility data set for global dust modeling, and they suggest that surface reflectivity is potentially valuable for producing or evaluating such data sets.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View