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Volume-size distribution of microparticles in ice cores from the Tibetan Plateau

  • Guangjian Wu (a1), Tandong Yao (a1) (a2), Baiqing Xu (a1), Lide Tian (a1) (a2), Chenglong Zhang (a1) and Xuelei Zhang (a1)...


The volume distribution of atmospheric dust particles (microparticles) of 1–30 μm diameter in Muztagata, Dunde, Dasuopu and Everest ice cores from the Tibetan Plateau was measured and fitted as a log-normal function in order to characterize their basic size properties. Our results reveal that whether the volume distribution fits the log-normal function or not largely depends on the dust concentration and the specific dust-storm event but is independent of physiographical location and season. Our results show only high-concentration samples obey the log-normal distribution in volume, with mode sizes ranging from 3 to 161 μm. The log-normal distribution was largely attributed to the mid-sized particles between 3 and 15 μm, which contribute most (>70%) of the total volume. The volume size distribution characteristics for mineral dust particles from ice cores reveal that the coarse particles might be common in the upper-level troposphere over the Tibetan Plateau. These dust size features are useful to advance our understanding of dust effects on climate, and provide clues to better characterize atmospheric dynamics over the Tibetan Plateau that will help to improve the current models.

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