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Temporal variability of mineral dust in southern Tunisia : analysis of 2 years of PM10 concentration, aerosol optical depth, and meteorology monitoring

Abstract : The south of Tunisia is a region very prone to wind erosion. During the last decades, changes in soil management have led to an increase in wind erosion. In February 2013, a ground-based station dedicated to the monitoring of mineral dust (that can be seen in this region as a proxy of the erosion of soils by wind) was installed at the Institut des Régions Arides (IRA) of Médenine (Tunisia) to document the temporal variability of mineral dust concentrations. This station allows continuous measurements of surface PM10 concentration (TEOM™), aerosol optical depth (CIMEL sunphotometer), and total atmospheric deposition of insoluble dust (CARAGA automatic sampler). The simultaneous monitoring of meteorological parameters (wind speed and direction, relative humidity, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, and precipitations) allows to analyse the factors controlling the variations of mineral dust concentration from the sub-daily to the annual scale. The results from the two first years of measurements of PM10 concentration are presented and discussed. In average on year 2014, PM10 concentration is 56 µg/m3. However, mineral dust concentration highly varies throughout the year: very high PM10 concentrations (up to 1,000 µg/m3 in daily mean) are frequently observed during wintertime and springtime, hardly ever in summer. These episodes of high PM10 concentration (when daily average PM10 concentration is higher than 240 µg/m3) sometimes last several days. By combining local meteorological data, air-masses trajectories, sunphotometer measurements, and satellite imagery, the part of the high PM10 concentration due to local emissions and those linked to an advection of dusty air masses by medium and long range transport from the Sahara desert is quantified.
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Contributor : Christel Bouet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 6:17:10 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 1:28:03 PM

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Christel Bouet, Mohamed Labiadh, Gilles Bergametti, Jean Rajot, Beatrice Marticorena, et al.. Temporal variability of mineral dust in southern Tunisia : analysis of 2 years of PM10 concentration, aerosol optical depth, and meteorology monitoring. European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Apr 2016, Vienna, Austria. 18, 2016. ⟨ird-02535872⟩

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