Impact of atmospheric dust emission schemes on dust production and concentration over the Arabian Peninsula

Christos Fountoukis, Luis Ackermann, Mohammed A. Ayoub, Ivan Gladich, Ross D. Hoehn, Adam Skillern

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This study examines the impact of two of the most advanced dust emission schemes on the predictions of the weather research and forecasting model with chemistry (WRF-Chem) over the Middle East during a summer time period. Results show significant differences between the two simulations in the spatial distribution of dust emissions as well as in their size-resolved mass discretization. The AFWA scheme simulation predicts 30 % higher dust emission fluxes than the S11 module over the Arabian Peninsula (6.7 μg m−2 s−1 compared to 4.5 μg m−2 s−1, respectively). In the S11 simulation 70 % of the emitted dust is in the 10–20 μm size range while the AFWA simulation assigns 50 % of dust emitted particles in the 6–12 μm size section. Both simulations reproduce the majority of the ambient PM10 data (more than 70 %) within a factor of two. However, the S11 simulation predicts, on average, 50 % lower PM10 concentrations compared to AFWA over the high resolution (2 × 2 km2) domain of Qatar. Previous applications of WRF-Chem may have substantially overestimated the simulated dust in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115
Number of pages6
JournalModeling Earth Systems and Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerosol size distribution
  • Atmospheric particulate matter
  • Chemical transport modeling
  • WRF-Chem

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