ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0304.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: dust transport; Australia; Tasman Sea; New Zealand; Antarctica; WRF-Chem; CALIPSO; MODIS
Online: 27 October 2019 (11:03:38 CET)
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0642.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Dust storm; Central and Eastern Australia; WRF-Chem model; Air Quality; Health Impact
Online: 25 November 2020 (13:46:05 CET)
Dust storms originating from Central Australia and western New South Wales frequently cause high particles concentration at many sites across New South Wales, both inland and along the coast. This study focussed on a dust storm event in February 2019 which affect air quality across the state as detected at many ambient monitoring stations in the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) air quality monitoring network. The WRF-Chem (Weather Research and Forecast Model – Chemistry) model is used to study the formation, dispersion and transport of dust across the state of New South Wales (NSW, Australia). Wildfires also happened in northern NSW at the same time of the dust storm in February 2019, and their emissions are taken into account in WRF-Chem model by using Fire Inventory from NCAR (FINN) as emission input. The model performance is evaluated and is shown to predict fairly accurate the PM2.5 and PM10 concentration as compared to observation. The predicted PM2.5 concentration over New South Wales during 5 days from 11 to 15 February 2019 is then used to estimate the impact of the February 2019 dust storm event on three health endpoints namely mortality, respiratory and cardiac diseases hospitalisation rates. The results show that even though as the daily average of PM2.5 over some parts of the state, especially in western and north western NSW near the centre of the dust storm and wild fires, are very high (over 900 µg/m3), the population exposure is low due to the sparse population. The top five Statistical Area Level 4 regions with the most impact in term of mortality, respiratory diseases hospitalisation and cardiac disease hospitalisation are Far West and Orana, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, New England and North West, Sydney – Inner South West and either Central Coast (mortality) or Sydney – Parramatta (respiratory diseases hospitalisation) or Sydney – Inner West (cardiac diseases hospitalisation). Generally, the health impact is similar in order of magnitude to that caused by biomass burnings events from wildfires or from hazardous reduction burnings (HRBs) near populous centres such as in Sydney in May 2016. One notable difference is the higher respiratory diseases hospitalisation for this dust event (161) compared to fire event (24).