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    Evaluating the relative importance of northern African mineral dust sources using remote sensing

    Bakker, N. and Drake, N. and Bristow, Charlie (2019) Evaluating the relative importance of northern African mineral dust sources using remote sensing. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 19 (16), pp. 10525-10535. ISSN 1680-7316.

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    Abstract

    Northern African mineral dust provides the Amazon Basin with essential nutrients during boreal winter months, when the trajectory of the Saharan dust plume is towards South America. This process, however, is still poorly understood. There is little understanding where the dust is coming from, and thus what the concentration of nutrients in the dust is. This information is vital to assess the impact it will have on the Amazon. In order to further our understanding of the problem, this study analyses northern African dust sources of the boreal winter dust seasons between the years 2015-2017. It utilises high spatio-temporal resolution remote sensing data from SEVIRI, MODIS, VIIRS, and Sentinel-2 to identify dust sources, classify them according to a geomorphic dust source scheme, and quantify the relative importance of source regions by calculating the total dust mass they produce. Results indicate that paleolakes emit the most dust, with the Bodélé Depression as the single largest dust source region. However, alluvial deposits also produce a substantial amount of dust. During the boreal winter dust seasons of 2015-2017, ~36% of the total dust mass emitted from northern Africa was associated with alluvial deposits, yet this geomorphic category has been relatively understudied to date. Furthermore, sand deposits were found to produce relatively little dust, in contrast to the results of other recent studies.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Charlie Bristow
    Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2019 15:28
    Last Modified: 22 Feb 2020 12:06
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/30039

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