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SDS-WAS webinar: Iceland – the largest and most active desert in the Arctic and Europe

by Enric Terradellas last modified Oct 19, 2017 03:46 PM

The WMO SDS-WAS Regional Center for Northern africa, Middle East and Europe invites you to attend the webinar

Iceland – the largest and most active desert in the Arctic and Europe

presented by Pavla Dagsson-Waldhauserova (University of Iceland, Department of Physical Sciences, Reykjavik, Iceland; Agricultural University of Iceland, Faculty of Environment, Hvanneyri, Iceland; Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

on Monday, 2 October 2017, 09:30 - 10:30 UTC (connection open at 09:00 UTC)

Abstract

High latitude dust sources are important part for the global airborne dust distribution with over 500,000 km2 active source areas. Iceland is one of such high-latitude cold regions where both volcanic and glacial activity affect most of the areas. It is extremely active and with over 44,000 km2 counts as the largest Arctic and European desert. Frequent dust events, up to 135 dust days annually, transport dust far distances, sometimes >1,000 km, towards the Arctic and Europe (MODIS). The dust deposition is about 31-40 million tons yr-1, including land, oceans and glaciers (> 500,000 km2). Major dust storm transports > 1 million tons of dust. Dust events in South Iceland are often in winter or at sub-zero temperatures where phenomena such as the Snow-Dust Storm occurs. Dust is also suspended during rains and low winds as a result of surface heating. Particle number concentration (PM~0.3-10 μm) about 150,000 particles cm-3 min-1 with the highest numbers of submicron particles (300-337nm). PM1/PM2.5 ratios of >0.9 and PM1/PM10 ratios of 0.34–0.63 are comparable to urban air pollution rather than dust storms. Dust particles in Iceland are different in size, colour and geochemical composition to crustal dust areas.

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