Numerical simulation of the October 2002 dust event in Australia
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In comparison to the major dust sources in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia is a relatively minor contributor to the global dust budget. However, severe dust storms do occur in Australia, especially in drought years. In this study, we simulate the 22-23 October 2002 dust storm using an integrated dust model, which is probably the most severe dust storm in Australia in at least the past 40 years. The model results are compared with synoptic visibility data and satellite images and for several stations, with high-volume sampler measurements. The model simulations are then used to estimate dust load, emission, and deposition, both for over the continent and for over the ocean. The main dust sources and sinks are identified. Dust sources include the desert areas in northern South Australia, the grazing lands in western New South Wales (NSW), and the farm lands in NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia, as well as areas in Queensland and Northern Territory. The desert areas appear to be the strongest source. The maximum dust emission is around 2000 姠m-2 s-1, and the maximum net dust emission is around 500 姠m-2 s-1. The total amount of dust eroded from the Australian continent during this dust event is around 95.8 Mt, of which 93.67 Mt is deposited on the continent and 2.13 Mt in the ocean. The maximum total dust load over the simulation domain is around 5 Mt. The magnitude of this Australian dust storm corresponds to a northeast Asian dust storm of moderate size.
Journal of Geophysical Research