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Journal article

Mixing of Asian mineral dust with anthropogenic pollutants over East Asia: A model case study of a super-duststorm in March 2010

Li J, Wang Z, Zhuang G, Luo G, Sun Y, Wang Q...(+6 more)

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 12, issue 16 (2012) pp. 7591-7607

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Abstract

Mixing of Asian mineral dust with anthropogenic pollutants allows
pollutants (e.g. sulfate and nitrate) to be transported over longer
distances (e.g. to the northern Pacific, even to North America) along
with dust particles. This mixing therefore affects the atmospheric and
oceanic environment at local, regional and even continental scales. In
this study, we used a three-dimensional regional chemical transport
model (Nested Air Quality Predicting Modeling System, NAQPMS) to examine
the degree of mixing between Asian mineral dust and anthropogenic
pollutants in a super-duststorm event during 19-22 March 2010.
Influences of the mixing processes on regional atmospheric environmental
and oceanic biogeochemical cycles were also investigated. A comparison
with measurements showed that the model reproduced well the trajectory
of long-range dust transport, the vertical dust profile, and the
chemical evolution of dust particles. We found that along-path mixing
processes during the long-range transport of Asian dust led to
increasingly polluted particles. As a result, similar to 60% of the
sulfate and 70-95% of the nitrate in the downwind regions was derived
from active mixing processes of minerals with pollutants sourced from
the North China Plain and enhanced by transport over South China. This
mixing had a significant impact on the regional-scale atmospheric
composition and oceanic biogeochemical cycle. Surface HNO3, SO2 and O-3
were decreased by up to 90%, 40% and 30 %, respectively, due to the
heterogeneous reactions on dust particles. Fe solubility rose from
similar to 0.5% in the Gobi region to similar to 3-5% in the
northwestern Pacific, resulting from oxidization of SO2 on dust
particles. Total Fe(II) deposition in the ocean region of East Asia
reached 327 tons during the 4-day dust event, and created a calculated
primary productivity of similar to 520 mg Cm-2 d(-1) in the Kuril
Islands, which can support almost 100% of the observed mean marine
primary productivity in spring in this region (526 mg Cm-2 d(-1)).

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