Aeolian dust deposition rates in south-western Iran

The annual atmospheric dust-load originating in the so-called Dust Belt ‎, which ranges from the ‎Sahara desert and the Arabian peninsula to the arid lowlands of Central Asia and the deserts of ‎northern China, impacts the air quality and the climate worldwide. Iran as a whole, and especially the ‎s...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Foroushani, Mansour Ahmadi
Contributors: Opp, Christian (Professor Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Doctoral Thesis
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2020
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Summary:The annual atmospheric dust-load originating in the so-called Dust Belt ‎, which ranges from the ‎Sahara desert and the Arabian peninsula to the arid lowlands of Central Asia and the deserts of ‎northern China, impacts the air quality and the climate worldwide. Iran as a whole, and especially the ‎southwestern regions of the country, most affected by dust, with frequent dust storms characterized ‎by annual mean concentrations of more than 100 µg/m³ of suspended dust. Although aeolian dust is a ‎highly relevant problem in Iran, there is a lack of comprehensive regional studies on this topic. The ‎central aim of the study presented here is therefore the spatiotemporal analyses and classification of ‎dust events, the chemical composition of the dust, and the connections between regional and seasonal ‎climate variation and dust deposition rates in four sub-regions of Iran. This comprehensive approach is ‎based on the maximum mean dust concentration and the seasonality of dust events. The results are ‎provided new and valuable insights into the dust deposition and its related processes in the study area.‎ The study area covers 8.43% of Iran (about 117,000 km2), located between 45°30′00″ E 35°00′00″ N ‎and 49°30′00″ E 30°00′00″ N including Kermanshah, Lorestan and Khuzestan. The fieldwork area is ‎characterized by the rolling mountainous terrain about 4000 m above sea level (a.s.l) in the north and ‎east, plains and marshlands in the south. Study area has also located in dry climate and hot summer ‎conditions in the south, cold and hot desert climates in the west. The studies on aeolian dust in ‎southwestern Iran are based solely on ground deposition rates from 2014 to 2017‎‏.‏ To address the connections between the Ground observation of dust Deposition Rates (GDR), climate ‎zones, and weather patterns, a comparative analysis with various data sets was conducted. Both ‎gravimetric and directional dust samplers (10 each) were installed to record the monthly GDR between ‎‎2014 and 2017. The sampler design was deliberately kept simple to ensure long-term durability and ‎easy maintenance. The collected dust samples were analyzed for their chemical composition using ‎Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The ten sampling sites were also classified ‎by their land use / land cover (LULC) for a more detailed data interpretation. The observation data ‎during two typical dust cases (spring 2014 and winter 2015), have furthermore been compared with ‎the spatiotemporal dust concentration and dust load over the study area. Comparing the results of the ‎monthly mean Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging ‎Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and GDR data, using enhancement algorithms were applied in order to ‎investigate the spatiotemporal distribution of dust events. To demonstrate the aerosol movement, a ‎HYbrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model was used for tracing the ‎investigated dust events. The time-space consistency between AOT and GDR, in agreement with the ‎HYSPLIT model output was the basis for an improved estimation of the dust deposition rate from ‎separate thickness layers. Finally, by comparing the high temporal and maximum seasonal deposition ‎rates, using MODIS and GDR data, the impact of the regional climate on the deposition rates of ‎aeolian dust was assessed, which allows insights in potential future dust emission scenarios in times of ‎climate change. ‎ A major finding shows the impact of dust events on the environment and considers the influence of ‎geographical factors, such as weathering, and climate pattern over aeolian dust deposition rates. In ‎more detail, finding to address the first objective suggested that contributors of the elemental ‎concentrations are associated with elements emanating from local industrial and commercial activities ‎‎(Cr, V, and Cd). The dominant variables (K, Zn) strongly influence the aerosol composition values and ‎represent the dust transport route. Inter –element relationships shows that the highest proportion (80%) ‎of dust samples subjected to Airborne Metals Regulations are formed under local and regional ‎conditions. Besides, the analyses indicate that the WRF-Chem model adequately simulates the ‎evolution, spatial distribution and load of dust over the study area. Hence, the model performance has ‎been evaluated by GDR. It showed different values of GDR highly depending on LULC pattern. Due to ‎the fact, that there is no way to isolate each individual area from the effects of either anthropogenic ‎sources or natural weathering processes, developing guidance on the priorities of expanding projects ‎and preventative actions towards potential dust deposition from natural and dominant sources may be ‎a subject of institutional interest. ‎ The results of direct measurements of dust deposition, which are typically made by passive sampling ‎techniques (ground-based observations), along with analyzed data from AOT, represent the second ‎objective to understand the spatiotemporal pattern of the points with the same variation. The ‎corresponding points headed to find moving air mass trajectories, using HYSPLIT were proven to be a ‎discriminator of their local and regional origin of aeolian dust. Furthermore, the seasonal deposition rate ‎varied from 8.4 g/m2/month in the summer to 3.5 g/m2/month in the spring. Despite all the advances ‎of AOT, under certain circumstances, the ground-based solutions were able to represent aerosol ‎conditions over the research area, tested in the southwestern regions of Iran. And that is when the low ‎number of observations is a commonly acknowledged drawback of GDR.‎ In addition, the peak of the seasonal deposition rates (t/km2/month) occurred in [arid desert hot-BWh, ‎‎8.4], [arid steppe hot-BSh, 6.6], and [hot and dry summer-Csa, 3.5] climate regions. Thus, the third ‎objective response was‏ ‏detected as the highest deposition rates of dust BWh >BSh >Csa throughout ‎the year, once the annual mean deposition rates (t/km2/year) are 100.80 for [BWh], 79.27 for [BSh], ‎and 39.60 for [Csa]. The knowledge gained on the dust deposition processes, together with the ‎feedback from the climate pattern, will provide insights into the records of data for developing new ‎sources, deposition rates and their climate offsets. Taking this in mind, having information about the ‎ground deposition rates in the study region could make the estimations more accurate, while finding an ‎appropriate algorithm is necessary to enhance the affected areas exposed to the dust. In order to ‎assess the impact of dust events on human health, environment and the damage to the various ‎business sectors of the country’s economy, additional studies with adequate modelling tools are ‎needed. ‎ Due to this date, the data holding organizations are somewhat reluctant to make their data available to ‎other parties. This work is also a step toward an institutional suggestion to gain benefit from information ‎exchange amongst data holding organizations, providers and users. The need for capacity building and ‎strong policy for implementing user-friendly geo information portal‏ ‏is essential.‎
Physical Description:159 Pages