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Spring 2018 Asian Dust Events: Sources, Transportation, and Potential Biogeochemical Implications

1
Department of Marine Science, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Korea
2
Fisheries Resources and Environment Division, East Sea Fisheries Research Institute, National Institute of Fisheries Science, Gangneung 25435, Korea
3
Marine Disaster Research Center, Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology, Busan 49111, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(5), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10050276
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract

The input of aeolian mineral dust to the oceans is regarded as the major source in supplying bioavailable iron for phytoplankton growth. Severe dust events swept over East Asia during the 26 March to the 4 April 2018, decreasing air quality to hazardous levels, with maximum PM10 mass concentrations above 3000 μg m−3 in northern China. Based on a comprehensive approach that combines multiple satellite measurements, ground observations, and model simulation, we revealed that two severe Asian dust events originating from the Taklimakan and Gobi deserts on 26 March and 1 April, were transported through northern China and the East/Japan Sea, to the North Pacific Ocean by westerly wind systems. Transportation pathways dominated by mineral dust aerosols were observed at altitudes of 2–7 km in the source regions, and then ascending to 3–10 km in the North Pacific Ocean, with relatively denser dust plumes within the second dust episode than there were during the first. Our results suggest that mineral dust emitted from the Taklimakan and Gobi deserts could increase ocean primary productivity in the North Pacific Ocean by up to ~50%, compared to average conditions. This emphasizes the potential importance of the deposition of Asian mineral dust over the North Pacific Ocean for enhancing the biological pump. View Full-Text
Keywords: North Pacific Ocean; Asian dust; Taklimakan and Gobi deserts; multi-satellite observations; phytoplankton North Pacific Ocean; Asian dust; Taklimakan and Gobi deserts; multi-satellite observations; phytoplankton
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Yoon, J.-E.; Lim, J.-H.; Shim, J.-M.; Kwon, J.-I.; Kim, I.-N. Spring 2018 Asian Dust Events: Sources, Transportation, and Potential Biogeochemical Implications. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 276.

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