11 Sep 2023
 | 11 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

The implementation of dust mineralogy in COSMO5.05-MUSCAT

Sofía Gómez Maqueo Anaya, Dietrich Althausen, Matthias Faust, Holger Baars, Bernd Heinold, Julian Hofer, Ina Tegen, Albert Ansmann, Ronny Engelmann, Annett Skupin, Birgit Heese, and Kerstin Schepanski

Abstract. Mineral dust aerosols are composed from a complex assemblage of various minerals depending on the region they originated. Giving the different mineral composition of desert dust aerosols, different physico-chemical properties and therefore varying climate effects are expected.

Despite the known regional variations in mineral composition, chemical transport models typically assume that mineral dust aerosol have uniform composition. This study adds, for the first time, mineralogical information to the mineral dust emission scheme used in the chemical transport model COSMO-MUSCAT. We provide a detailed description of the implementation of the mineralogical database, GMINER (Nickovic et al., 2012), together with a specific set of physical parametrizations in the model’s mineral dust emission module. These changes lead to a general improvement of the model performance when comparing the simulated mineral dust aerosols with measurements over the Sahara Desert region for January–February 2022 .

The simulated mineral dust aerosol vertical distribution is tested by a comparison with aerosol lidar measurements from the lidar system PollyXT, located at Cape Verde. For a lofted mineral dust aerosol layer on the 2 February 5:00 UTC the lidar retrievals yield on a dust mass concentration peak of 156 μg/m3 while the model calculates the mineral dust peak at 136 μg/m3. The results highlight the possibility of using the model with resolved mineral dust composition for interpretation of the lidar measurements since higher absorption the UV-VIS wavelength is correlated to particles having higher hematite content. Additionally, the comparison with in-situ mineralogical measurements of dust aerosol particles show how important they are, but also that more of them are needed for model evaluation.

Sofía Gómez Maqueo Anaya et al.

Status: open (until 06 Nov 2023)

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Sofía Gómez Maqueo Anaya et al.

Sofía Gómez Maqueo Anaya et al.


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Short summary
Mineral dust aerosol particles vary greatly in their composition depending on source region, which leads to different physicochemical properties. Most atmosphere-aerosol models consider mineral dust aerosols as compositionally homogenous, which ultimately increases model uncertainty. Here, we present an approach to explicitly consider the heterogeneity of the mineralogical composition for simulations of the Saharan atmospheric dust cycle with regard to the dust transport towards the Atlantic.