Mass concentration and mineralogical characteristics of aerosol particles collected at Dunhuang during ACE-Asia

Zhenxing Shen, Junji Cao, Xuxiang Li, Tomoaki Okuda, Yaqiang Wang, Xiaoye Zhang

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Measurements were performed in spring 2001 and 2002 to determine the characteristics of soil dust in the Chinese desert region of Dunhuang, one of the ground sites of the Asia-Pacific Regional Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-Asia). The mean mass concentrations of total suspended particle matter during the spring of 2001 and 2002 were 317 μg m-3 and 307 μg m-3, respectively. Eleven dust storm events were observed with a mean aerosol concentration of 1095 μg m-3, while the non-dusty days with calm or weak wind speed had a background aerosol loading of 196 μg m-3 on average in the springtime. The main minerals detected in the aerosol samples by X-ray diffraction were illite, kaolinite, chlorite, quartz, feldspar, calcite and dolomite. Gypsum, halite and amphibole were also detected in a few samples. The mineralogical data also show that Asian dust is characterized by a kaolinite to chlorite (K/C) ratio lower than 1 whereas Saharan dust exhibits a K/C ratio larger than 2. Air mass back-trajectory analysis show that three families of pathways are associated with the aerosol particle transport to Dunhuang, but these have similar K/C ratios, which further demonstrates that the mineralogical characteristics of Asian dust are different from African dust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar



  • Clay ratio
  • Mass concentration
  • Mineralogical composition
  • Soil dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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