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ABSTRACT

The provenance of fine-grained eolian dust over East Asia is distinguished using a regional climate model. Five major source regions within China and Mongolia are considered: sandy lands in the northeastern China, deserts in the northern China, the Gobi deserts, the Taklimakan deserts in western China and deserts on the Tibet an Plateau. The contribution of each dust source is evaluated for the downwind eolian sediments in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) and Japan Sea (JS). The results show that the adjoining northern and Gobi deserts dominate the dust depositions over CLP and over eastern China, although Taklimakan deserts are actually the largest emission source. On the marine deposits in JS, Taklimakan deserts exert a more significant role since the particles from Taklimakan tend to be raised into upper atmosphere and delivered for a longer distance. The agent for dust delivery also differs among different sources. Dust from northern deserts is dominantly carried by the local northwesterly winds in spring associated with the East Asian winter monsoon system and restricted in the low-level atmosphere, while the westerly winds in the mid- to high-level troposphere become of great importance and more likely to be responsible for the transport of Taklimakan dust.