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Open AccessArticle

Dust Storm Event of February 2019 in Central and East Coast of Australia and Evidence of Long-Range Transport to New Zealand and Antarctica

1
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, New South Wales, Lidcombe PO Box 29, Australia
2
Environmental Quality, Atmospheric Science and Climate Change Research Group, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam
3
Faculty of Environment and Labour Safety, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110653
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 28 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Atmosphere: Air Quality)
Between 11 and 15 February 2019, a dust storm originating in Central Australia with persistent westerly and south westerly winds caused high particle concentrations at many sites in the state of New South Wales (NSW); both inland and along the coast. The dust continued to be transported to New Zealand and to Antarctica in the south east. This study uses observed data and the WRF-Chem Weather Research Forecast model based on GOCART-AFWA (Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport–Air Force and Weather Agency) dust scheme and GOCART aerosol and gas-phase MOZART (Model for Ozone And Related chemical Tracers) chemistry model to study the long-range transport of aerosols for the period 11 to 15 February 2019 across eastern Australia and onto New Zealand and Antarctica. Wildfires also happened in northern NSW at the same time, and their emissions are taken into account in the WRF-Chem model by using the Fire Inventory from NCAR (FINN) as the emission input. Modelling results using the WRF-Chem model show that for the Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand, peak concentration of PM10 (and PM2.5) as measured on 14 February 2019 at 05:00 UTC at the monitoring stations of Geraldine, Ashburton, Timaru and Woolston (Christchurch), and about 2 h later at Rangiora and Kaiapoi, correspond to the prediction of high PM10 due to the intrusion of dust to ground level from the transported dust layer above. The Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) observation data from MODIS 3 km Terra/Aqua and CALIOP LiDAR measurements on board CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol LiDAR and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite also indicate that high-altitude dust ranging from 2 km to 6 km, originating from this dust storm event in Australia, was located above Antarctica. This study suggests that the present dust storms in Australia can transport dust from sources in Central Australia to the Tasman sea, New Zealand and Antarctica. View Full-Text
Keywords: dust transport; Australia; Tasman Sea; New Zealand; Antarctica; WRF-chem; CALIPSO; MODIS dust transport; Australia; Tasman Sea; New Zealand; Antarctica; WRF-chem; CALIPSO; MODIS
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Nguyen, H.D.; Riley, M.; Leys, J.; Salter, D. Dust Storm Event of February 2019 in Central and East Coast of Australia and Evidence of Long-Range Transport to New Zealand and Antarctica. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 653.

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