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Interannual Variability in the Source Location of North African Dust Transported to the Amazon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Anne E. Barkley, Ali Pourmand, Jack Longman, Arash Sharifi, Joseph M. Prospero, Kathy Panechou, Natalie Bakker, Nick Drake, Damien Guinoiseau, Cassandra J. Gaston

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL097344
JournalGEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS
Volume49
Issue number10
DOIs
Published28 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We thank ATMO‐Guyane for collecting samples in Cayenne, French Guiana ( https://www.atmo-guyane.org/ ). C.J.G. acknowledges funding provided by an NSF CAREER award (AGS‐1944958) and a Provost Award provided by the University of Miami. A.E.B. and N.B. thank the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for Climate Studies and the Keck Institute for Space Studies Summer School on Satellite Observations and Climate Models for initiating the collaboration that helped shape this work. We thank Stephen J.G. Galer for providing insightful comments. Funding Information: We thank ATMO-Guyane for collecting samples in Cayenne, French Guiana (https://www.atmo-guyane.org/). C.J.G. acknowledges funding provided by an NSF CAREER award (AGS-1944958) and a Provost Award provided by the University of Miami. A.E.B. and N.B. thank the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for Climate Studies and the Keck Institute for Space Studies Summer School on Satellite Observations and Climate Models for initiating the collaboration that helped shape this work. We thank Stephen J.G. Galer for providing insightful comments. Publisher Copyright: © 2022. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

African dust is transported to South America (SA) every winter and spring. Hypotheses suggest that either Western or Central North Africa (e.g., Bodélé Depression) is the main source of transported dust, yet these notions remain largely untested with geochemical data. Using 2 years of isotopic measurements (strontium and neodymium) of African dust collected in SA integrated into a statistical model, we identified strong interannual variability in dust source region. Central North Africa supplied 44% of long-range transported dust in winter 2016 while the Western region accounted for 53% of dust in winter 2014. We propose the variability is due to differences in the strength of the Libyan High and precipitation over the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean between the 2 years. Our findings can improve constraints of dust nutrient deposition and predictions of how changes in climate impact the source and magnitude of dust transported to the Amazon.

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