de la Paz, D; Vedrenne, M; Borge, R; Lumbreras, J; de Andres, JM; Perez, J; Rodriguez, E; Karanasiou, A; Moreno, T; Boldo, E; Linares, C (2013). Modelling Saharan dust transport into the Mediterranean basin with CMAQ. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT, 70, 337-350.
The need for a better quantification of the influence of Saharan dust transport processes on the air quality modelling in the Mediterranean basin led to the formulation of a dust emission module (DEM) integrated into the Air Quality Risk Assessment System for the Iberian Peninsula (SERCA). This paper is focused on the formulation of DEM based on the GOCART aerosol model, along with its integration and execution into the air quality model. It also addresses the testing of the module and its evaluation by contrasting results against satellite products such as MODIS and CALIPSO and ground-level observations of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and concentration levels of PM10 for different periods in July 2007. DEM was found capable of reproducing the spatial (horizontal and vertical) and temporal profiles of Saharan dust outbreaks into the Mediterranean basin and the Atlantic coast of Africa. Moreover, it was observed that its combination with CMAQ increased the correlation degree between observed and modelled PM10 concentrations at the selected monitoring locations. DEM also enhanced CMAQ capabilities to reproduce observed AOT, although significant underestimations remain. The implementation of CMAQ + DEM succeeded in capturing Saharan dust transport into the Iberian Peninsula, with contributions up to 25 and 14 mu g m(-3) in 1 h and 24 h average PM10 respectively. The general improvement of total PM10 predictions in Spain are however moderate. The analysis of model performance for the main PM components points out that remaining PM10 underestimation is due to dust local sources missing in the inventories and misrepresentation of organic aerosol processes, which constitutes the main areas for future improvement of CMAQ capabilities to simulate particulate matter within SERCA. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.