Record heavy Asian dust in Beijing in 2002: Observations and model analysis of recent events

Nobuo Sugimoto, Itsushi Uno, Masataka Nishikawa, Atsushi Shimizu, Ichiro Matsui, Xuhui Dong, Yan Chen, Hao Quan

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188 Citations (Scopus)


A record heavy Yellow Sand event was observed on 20 March in Beijing. This event was unusual because the wind speed was low and the dust concentration was extremely high at the dust front. Observations with a polarization lidar, an optical particle counter, and a high-volume sampler were performed throughout the event in Beijing. The visibility derived from the lidar data was 650 m, and the total suspended particle concentration was 11 mg/m3 at the peak. Chemical transport model analysis revealed that the main part of the dust originated in the Mongolian border area near Ejinaqi. This dust event severely affected Korea and northern Japan. Continuous lidar observations in Beijing, Nagasaki and Tsukuba revealed that the frequency of dust events in 2001 and 2002 was similar in Beijing but much higher in 2002 in Nagasaki and Tsukuba. The model showed dust was transported to the east more frequently in 2002 and the difference is probably related to the smaller perturbation of the westerly jet. This indicates that a slight change in climate can cause a large difference in dust phenomena in the northwestern Pacific region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-1 - 42-4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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