Dust Emission Climatology in the Atacama Desert using Surface Synoptic Observations: 1984-2021

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Title:Main Title: Dust Emission Climatology in the Atacama Desert using Surface Synoptic Observations: 1984-2021
Description:Series Information: The Atacama Desert should be a region prone to wind erosion and dust events given the barren landscape and lack of moisture but it rarely sees strong dust events. Despite this perception, there is no literature quantifying the frequency of dust events in the Atacama and analysing the underlying meteorological mechanisms responsible for dust storms in the region. To this end, we analysed surface observations spanning 37 years (1984-2021) to compile wind climatology and systematically assess the dust events in the Atacama Desert. We used the Met Office Integrated Data Archive System (MIDAS) Land and Marine Surface Stations Data. Based on the present weather codes for the nine Chilean stations present in the data, the frequency of dust events was computed. The Atacama Desert has a very low dust event frequency of 0.6 % in the annual mean despite its hyper-aridity. The station at Cha ̃naral records the highest number of dust events, ac- counting for 68 % of all recorded dust observations. There is no perceptible seasonal pattern but there is a strong diurnal cycle in the dust activity in the Atacama as most dust events occur be- tween 1500 and 1800 local time. Threshold wind speeds are estimated for all stations, except at Vallenar, and it is defined as the minimum wind speed required for 5, 25 and 50 % of dust event frequency. The thresholds allow us to determine the lowest winds capable of emitting dust from the surface and also the highest wind speeds required, and the differences between the thresholds could be telling of the changes in soil conditions such as moisture or land use. For 5 % of dust event frequency, the lowest threshold wind speed of 6-8 ms−1 is estimated at Cha ̃naral and for 50 % of dust event frequency, 10-12 ms−1 at Desierto de Atacama. Higher threshold wind speeds are observed for stations north of 26 ◦ S than the stations south of 26 ◦ S. It implies that dust par- ticles can be mobilized by weaker near-surface wind speeds in the South than in the North of the Atacama. Seasonal variations in the threshold wind speed are not strongly pronounced in stations where sufficiently many observations are available. Ongoing work includes incorporating addi- tional datasets for filling in identified data gaps in MIDAS and for allowing a spatially broader analysis of dust-emitting winds across the Atacama Desert
Responsible Party
Creators:Rovina Pinto (Author), Stephanie Fiedler (Author)
Publisher:CRC1211 Database (CRC1211DB)
Publication Year:2022
CRC1211 Topic:Climate
Related Subproject:A3
Subject:Keyword: Climate Models
Geogr. Information Topic:Climatology/Meteorology/Atmosphere
File Details
Data Type:Other - Poster
File Size:1.8 MB
Date:Available: 13.05.2022
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF
Download Permission:Only Project Members (Download Embargo will be lifted after project end)
General Access and Use Conditions:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Access Limitations:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Licence:[CRC1211DB] Data policy agreement
Specific Information - Presentation
Presentation Date:13th of May, 2022
Presentation Type:Poster
Event:CRC1211 General Assembly May 2022
Event Type:Project Meeting
Event Location:Cologne
Event Duration:13th of May, 2022 - 14th of May, 2022
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Rovina Pinto
Metadata Created:18.05.2022
Metadata Last Updated:18.05.2022
Funding Phase:2
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V50
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