The effect of the nonsphericity of mineral dust aerosols on its deposition and transport was investigated based on model simulation for a typical dust event over northern China from April 6 to 12, 2018. The settling velocity related to morphological change in dust size was considered in Nested Air Quality Prediction Modeling System (NAQPMS) to simulate the dust spatial distribution. Comparison of these results with observations showed that the model reproduced the temporal variability in the mass concentration of particles along the dust plume pathway. The most frequently reported aspect ratio (λ) was 1.7 ± 0.2 for Asian dust aerosols. Changing the nonsphericity of the particle from typical prolate ellipsoids (λ = 1.7) to spherical ellipsoids (λ = 1) caused an ~3% decrease in the surface dust concentration on average. For particles with diameters >5 μm, nonsphericity caused a change in the surface dust concentration up to 10%, especially at the periphery of the dust source region. The overall effects on the fine dust (<2.5 μm) were not significant. A sensitivity study using a more extreme nonspherical shape (λ = 2) showed that the differences in PM10 concentration were evident, and the surface dust concentration increased by 15 ± 5% as a result of an ~10% decrease in settling velocity. These results confirmed that the effect of the variability in the nonsphericity of Asian dust particles on their regional transport highly depended on synoptical and pollution conditions, and the adoption of a deposition value that changes over time due to this morphological variability could improve the performance of dust modeling and the assessment of climate effects on a global scale, especially for transboundary processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal