Saharan dust transport and deposition towards the tropical northern Atlantic K. Schepanski1,2, I. Tegen1, and A. Macke2 1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany 2Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany
Abstract. We present a study of Saharan dust export towards the tropical North Atlantic
using the regional dust emission, transport and deposition model LM-MUSCAT.
Horizontal and vertical distribution of dust optical thickness,
concentration, and dry and wet deposition rates are used to describe
seasonality of dust export and deposition towards the eastern Atlantic for
three typical months in different seasons. Deposition rates strongly depend
on the vertical dust distribution, which differs with seasons. Furthermore
the contribution of dust originating from the Bodélé Depression to
Saharan dust over the Atlantic is investigated. A maximum contribution of
Bodélé dust transported towards the Cape Verde Islands is evident in
winter when the Bodélé source area is most active and dominant with
regard to activation frequency and dust emission. Limitations of using
satellite retrievals to estimate dust deposition are highlighted.
Citation: Schepanski, K., Tegen, I., and Macke, A.: Saharan dust transport and deposition towards the tropical northern Atlantic, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 1173-1189, doi:10.5194/acp-9-1173-2009, 2009.