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Keywords:

  • dust aerosol;
  • CALIPSO;
  • PACDEX

[1] Knowledge of long-range transport and vertical distribution of Asian dust aerosols in the free troposphere is important for estimating their impact on climate. Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO), surface micropulse lidar (MPL), and standard surface measurements are used to directly observe the long-range transport and vertical distribution of Asian dust aerosols in the free troposphere during the Pacific Dust Experiment (PACDEX). The MPL measurements were made at the Loess Plateau (35.95°N, 104.1°E) near the major dust source regions of the Taklamakan and Gobi deserts. Dust events are more frequent in the Taklamakan, where floating dust dominates, while more intensive, less frequent dust storms are more common in the Gobi region. The vertical distribution of the CALIPSO backscattering/depolarization ratios indicate that nonspherically shaped dust aerosols floated from near the ground to an altitude of approximately 9 km around the source regions. This suggests the possible long-range transport of entrained dust aerosols via upper tropospheric westerly jets. A very distinct large depolarization layer was also identified between 8 and 10 km over eastern China and the western Pacific Ocean corresponding to dust aerosols transported from the Taklamakan and Gobi areas, as confirmed by back trajectory analyses. The combination of these dust sources results in a two-layer or multilayered dust structure over eastern China and the western Pacific Ocean.