Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-434
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-434
27 Feb 2024
 | 27 Feb 2024

Characterization of the particle size distribution, mineralogy and Fe mode of occurrence of dust-emitting sediments across the Mojave Desert, California, USA

Adolfo González-Romero, Cristina González-Flórez, Agnesh Panta, Jesús Yus-Díez, Patricia Córdoba, Andres Alastuey, Natalia Moreno, Melani Hernández-Chiriboga, Konrad Kandler, Martina Klose, Roger N. Clark, Bethany L. Ehlmann, Rebecca N. Greenberger, Abigail M. Keebler, Phil Brodrick, Robert Green, Paul Ginoux, Xavier Querol, and Carlos Pérez García-Pando

Abstract. Understanding the effect of dust upon climate and ecosystems needs comprehensive analyses of the physiochemical properties of dust-emitting sediments in arid regions. Here, we analyse a diverse set of crusts and aeolian ripples (n=55) from various dust-hotspots within the Mojave Desert, California, USA, with focus on their particle size distribution (PSD), mineralogy, aggregation/cohesion state and iron mode of occurrence characterization. Our results showed differences in fully and minimally dispersed PSDs, with crusts average median diameters (92 and 37 µm, respectively) compared to aeolian ripples (226 and 213 µm, respectively). Mineralogical analyses unveiled variations between crusts and ripples, with crusts enriched in phyllosilicates (24 vs 7.8 %), carbonates (6.6 vs 1.1 %), Na-salts (7.3 vs 1.1 %) and zeolites (1.2 and 0.12 %), while ripples enriched in feldspars (48 vs 37 %), quartz (32 vs 16 %), and gypsum (4.7 vs 3.1 %). Bulk Fe content analyses indicate higher concentrations in crusts (3.0±1.3 wt %) compared to ripples (1.9±1.1 wt %), with similar Fe speciation proportions; nano Fe-oxides/readily exchangeable Fe represent ~1.6 %, hematite/goethite ~15 %, magnetite/maghemite ~2.0 % and structural Fe in silicates ~80 % of the total Fe. We identified segregation patterns in PSD and mineralogy differences within the Mojave basins, influenced by sediment transportation dynamics and precipitates due to groundwater table fluctuations. Mojave Desert crusts show similarities with previously sampled crusts in the Moroccan Sahara for PSD and readily exchangeable Fe, yet exhibit differences in mineralogical composition, which could influence the emitted dust particles characteristics.

Adolfo González-Romero, Cristina González-Flórez, Agnesh Panta, Jesús Yus-Díez, Patricia Córdoba, Andres Alastuey, Natalia Moreno, Melani Hernández-Chiriboga, Konrad Kandler, Martina Klose, Roger N. Clark, Bethany L. Ehlmann, Rebecca N. Greenberger, Abigail M. Keebler, Phil Brodrick, Robert Green, Paul Ginoux, Xavier Querol, and Carlos Pérez García-Pando

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-434', Richard Reynolds, 23 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-434', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 Apr 2024
Adolfo González-Romero, Cristina González-Flórez, Agnesh Panta, Jesús Yus-Díez, Patricia Córdoba, Andres Alastuey, Natalia Moreno, Melani Hernández-Chiriboga, Konrad Kandler, Martina Klose, Roger N. Clark, Bethany L. Ehlmann, Rebecca N. Greenberger, Abigail M. Keebler, Phil Brodrick, Robert Green, Paul Ginoux, Xavier Querol, and Carlos Pérez García-Pando
Adolfo González-Romero, Cristina González-Flórez, Agnesh Panta, Jesús Yus-Díez, Patricia Córdoba, Andres Alastuey, Natalia Moreno, Melani Hernández-Chiriboga, Konrad Kandler, Martina Klose, Roger N. Clark, Bethany L. Ehlmann, Rebecca N. Greenberger, Abigail M. Keebler, Phil Brodrick, Robert Green, Paul Ginoux, Xavier Querol, and Carlos Pérez García-Pando

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Short summary
In this research, we studied the dust-emitting properties of crusts and aeolian ripples from the Mojave Desert. These properties are key to understand the effect of dust upon climate. We found two different playa lakes according to the groundwater regime which implies differences on crusts cohesion state and its mineralogy, which can affect the dust emission potential and properties. We also compare them with Moroccan Sahara crusts and Icelandic top sediments.