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Publication Date
1 March 2015

Derivation of an Observation-based Map of North African Dust Emission



Changes in the emission, transport and deposition of aeolian dust have profound effects on regional climate, so that characterizing the lifecycle of dust in observations and improving the representation of dust in global climate models is necessary. A fundamental aspect of characterizing the dust cycle is quantifying surface dust fluxes, yet no spatially explicit estimates of this flux exist for the World’s major source regions. Here we present a novel technique for creating a map of the annual mean emitted dust flux for North Africa based on retrievals of dust storm frequency from the Meteosat Second Generation Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) and the relationship between dust storm frequency and emitted mass flux derived from the output of five models that simulate dust. Our results suggest that 64 (±16)% of all dust emitted from North Africa is from the Bodélé depression, and that 13 (±3)% of the North African dust flux is from a depression lying in the lee of the Aïr and Hoggar Mountains, making this area the second most important region of emission within North Africa.

“Derivation Of An Observation-Based Map Of North African Dust Emission”. 2015. Aeolian Research 16: 153-162. doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2015.01.001.
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