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Meteorological causes of Harmattan dust in West Africa

Schwanghart, W. and Schütt, B.. (2008) Meteorological causes of Harmattan dust in West Africa. Geomorphology, Vol. 95. pp. 412-428.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249674

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Abstract

We investigated the temporal dynamics of dust entrainment in the Bodélé Depression, Central Sahara, to better understand the intra-annual variability of aerosol emission in the world's largest dust source. The linkages between dust entrainment and large-scale meteorological factors were examined by correlating several meteorological variables in the Mediterranean and Africa north of the equator with the aerosol concentrations in the Bodélé Depression separately for winter and summer. The methodological tools applied are NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data and the aerosol index of the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS-AI), available for 15 years from 1978 to 1993. We found that dust mobilisation during the Harmattan season is highly dependent on air pressure variability in the Mediterranean area. High pressure to the north of the Bodélé intensifies the NE trade winds, leading to an increased entrainment of dust in the Bodélé Depression. In summer, dust mobilization cannot be explained by the large scale meteorological conditions. This highlights the importance of local to regional wind systems linked to the northernmost position of the intertropical convection zone (ITCZ) during this time.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geographie > Physiogeographie und Umweltwandel (Kuhn)
UniBasel Contributors:Schwanghart, Wolfgang
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0169-555X
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:03

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