• Open Access

Dynamical mechanisms controlling the vertical redistribution of dust and the thermodynamic structure of the West Saharan atmospheric boundary layer during summer



The Saharan atmospheric boundary layer (SABL) plays a significant role in the atmospheric global circulation and directly affects the vertical redistribution of dust originated in the Sahara, the world's largest dust source. Recent measurements have revealed a variety of new dynamical mechanisms that control the structure of the SABL, which are responsible for exchange between the Saharan convective and residual boundary layers. Using new space-borne laser remote sensing data (CALIPSO) and recently published results, we provide an overview of the following known dynamical mechanisms: diurnal vertical mixing, dynamical lifting (density currents and cold air outbreaks) and topographic effects (mountains and albedo anomalies). Copyright © 2009 Royal Meteorological Society