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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(5), 394; doi:10.3390/rs8050394

Changes in Aerosol Optical and Micro-Physical Properties over Northeast Asia from a Severe Dust Storm in April 2014

1,†
,
2,* , 1,†
,
1,†
,
2,†
,
2,†
and
2,†
1
Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
National Satellite Meteorological Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alexander A. Kokhanovsky and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 9 May 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [14774 KB, uploaded 9 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

This study focuses on analyzing the changes to aerosol properties caused by the dust storm called “China’s Great Wall of Dust” that originated from the Taklimakan Desert in April 2014. IDDI (Infrared Difference Dust Index) images from FY-2E and true color composite images from FY-3C MERSI (Medium Resolution Spectral Imager) show the breakout and transport path of the dust storm. Three-hourly ground-based measurements from MICAPS (Meteorological Information Comprehensive Analysis and Process System) suggest that anticyclonic circulation occupying the Southern Xinjiang basin and cyclonic circulation in Mongolia form a dipole pressure system that leads to strong northwesterly winds (13.7–20 m/s), which favored the breakout of the dust storm. IDDI results indicate that the dust storm breakout occurred at ~2:00 UTC on 23 April in the Taklimakan Desert. Four-day forward air mass trajectories with the HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model gives the simulation results of the dust transport paths and dust vertical distributions, which are consistent with the corresponding aerosol vertical distributions derived from CALIPSO. The Aerosol Index (AI) data of TOU (Total Ozone Unit) aboard FY-3B are first used to study the areas affected by the dust storm. From the AI results, the dust-affected areas agree well with the synoptic meteorological condition analysis, which supports that the synoptic meteorological conditions are the main reason for the breakout and transport of the dust storm. Anomalies of the average MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) AOD (Aerosol Optical Depth) distributions over northeast Asia during the dust storm to the average of the values in April between 2010 and 2014 are calculated as a percent. The results indicate high aerosol loading with a spatially-averaged anomaly of 121% for dusty days between 23 April and 25 April. Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) retrievals of VSD (Volume Size Distribution) and SSA (Single Scattering Albedo) show that while the aerosol properties in Dalanzadgad, which is closer to the dust source, were influenced primarily by coarse dust particles, the aerosol properties in Beijing were mostly contributed by fine dust particles that transported over longer distances and at high atmospheric levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: dust storm; aerosol index; aerosol microphysical characteristics; FY; Beijing; Dalanzadgad dust storm; aerosol index; aerosol microphysical characteristics; FY; Beijing; Dalanzadgad
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fang, L.; Wang, S.; Yu, T.; Gu, X.; Zhang, X.; Wang, W.; Ren, S. Changes in Aerosol Optical and Micro-Physical Properties over Northeast Asia from a Severe Dust Storm in April 2014. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 394.

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