Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Dust Storm Event of February 2019 in Central and East Coast of Australia and Evidence of Long-Range Transport to New Zealand and Antarctica

Version 1 : Received: 25 October 2019 / Approved: 27 October 2019 / Online: 27 October 2019 (11:03:38 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Nguyen, H.D.; Riley, M.; Leys, J.; Salter, D. Dust Storm Event of February 2019 in Central and East Coast of Australia and Evidence of Long-Range Transport to New Zealand and Antarctica. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 653. Nguyen, H.D.; Riley, M.; Leys, J.; Salter, D. Dust Storm Event of February 2019 in Central and East Coast of Australia and Evidence of Long-Range Transport to New Zealand and Antarctica. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 653.

Journal reference: Atmosphere 2019, 10, 653
DOI: 10.3390/atmos10110653

Abstract

Between 11 to 15 February 2019, a dust storm originating from Central Australia with persistent westerly and south westerly winds caused high particles concentration at many sites in the state of New South Wales (NSW), both inland and along the coast. The dust continued on to New Zealand and to Antarctica in the south east. This study uses observed data from air quality monitoring stations in NSW and New Zealand, MODIS 3km AOD (Aerosol Optical Depth) product from Terra/Aqua and lidar aerosol profile from CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite data, and the Weather Research Forecast WRF-Chem model based on GOCART-AFWA (Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport – Air Force and Weather Agency) dust scheme and GOCART aerosol and gas-phase MOZART (Model for Ozone And Related chemical Tracers) chemistry model to study the long-range transport of aerosols for the period 11 to 15 February 2019 across eastern Australia and onto New Zealand and Antarctica. Wild fires also happened in northern NSW at the same time and their emissions are taken into account in WRF-Chem model by using Fire Inventory from NCAR (FINN) as emission input. Modelling results by the WRF-Chem model show that for the Canterbury region of South Island of New Zealand, peak concentration of PM10 (and PM2.5) as measured on 14 February 2019 at 05:00 UTC at the monitoring stations of Geraldine, Ashburton, Timaru and Woolston (Christchurch), which are more than 100km from each other and at Rangiora, Kaiapoi about 2 hours later, correspond to the prediction of high PM10 due to intrusion of dust to ground level from transported dust layer above. The Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) observation data from MODIS Terra/Aqua and CALIOP lidar measurements on board CALIPSO satellite also indicate that high altitude of dust, originated from this dust storm event in Australia, was located above Antarctica. This study suggests that at present dust storms in Australia can transport dust from sources in Central Australia to the Tasman sea, New Zealand and Antarctica. This process has been going on for at least the last 170k years as indicated by dust found in ice cores from Antarctica and sediment records in the Tasman Sea.

Subject Areas

dust transport; Australia; Tasman Sea; New Zealand; Antarctica; WRF-Chem; CALIPSO; MODIS

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