Impact of vegetation and preferential source areas on global dust aerosol: results from a model study

Ina Tegen*, Sandy P. Harrison, Karen Kohfeld, I. Colin Prentice, Michael Coe, Martin Heimann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

421 Citations (Scopus)
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We present a model of the dust cycle that successfully predicts dust emissions as determined by land surface properties, monthly vegetation and snow cover, and 6-hourly surface wind speeds for the years 1982-1993. The model takes account of the role of dry lake beds as preferential source areas for dust emission. The occurrence of these preferential sources is determined by a water routing and storage model. The dust source scheme also explicitly takes into account the role of vegetation type as well as monthly vegetation cover. Dust transport is computed using assimilated winds for the years 1987-1990. Deposition of dust occurs through dry and wet deposition, where subcloud scavenging is calculated using assimilated precipitation fields. Comparison of simulated patterns of atmospheric dust loading with the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer satellite absorbing aerosol index shows that the model produces realistic results from daily to interannual timescales. The magnitude of dust deposition agrees well with sediment flux data from marine sites. Emission of submicron dust from preferential source areas are required for the computation of a realistic dust optical thickness. Sensitivity studies show that Asian dust source strengths are particularly sensitive to the seasonally of vegetation cover.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4576
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union . Originally published as I. Tegen, S. P. Harrison, K. Kohfeld, I. C. Prentice, M. Coe, and M. Heimann (2002). Impact of vegetation and preferential source areas on global dust aerosol: Results from a model study. J. Geophys. Res., 107(D21), 4576, doi:10.1029/2001JD000963. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • aerosols
  • mineral dust
  • tracer modeling
  • global modeling


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