Analysis of Saharan dust intrusions into the Carpathian Basin (Central Europe) over the period of 1979–2011

Varga, György and Kovács, János and Újvári, Gábor (2013) Analysis of Saharan dust intrusions into the Carpathian Basin (Central Europe) over the period of 1979–2011. Global and Planetary Change, 100. pp. 333-342. ISSN 0921-8181

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Aeolian dust particles and dust storms play substantial role in climatic and other environmental processes of the Earth system. The largest and most important dust source areas are situated in the Sahara, from where several hundred thousand tons of mineral dust is emitted each year and transported towards the European continent. Here we show that 130 Saharan dust events (SDEs) reached the atmosphere of the Carpathian Basin from 1979 to 2011 by using the NASA's daily TOMS Aerosol Index data, satellite images and backward trajectory calculations of NOAA HYSPLIT model. Monthly trends of dust events demonstrate that the main period of dust transportation is in the spring, with a secondary maximum in the summer (in July and August). This seasonal distribution match well the seasonality of Saharan dust emissions. However synoptic meteorological conditions govern primarily the occurrence of long-range dust transport towards Central Europe. Based on their different meteorological backgrounds (geopotential field, wind vector and meridional flow), SDEs were classified into three main types. By using composite mean maps of synoptic situations and backward trajectories, the possible source areas have also been identified for the different types of events. Finally, we provide a short discussion on how the African mineral dust could contribute to the local aeolian sedimentation of the Carpathian Basin during the Plio-Pleistocene.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QE Geology / földtudományok
Depositing User: Dr. György Varga
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2013 13:42
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2013 12:33

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