Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2012
Publication Date: 12/7/2012
Citation: Van Pelt, R.S., Barnes, M., Zobeck, T.M. 2012. Use of Rare Earth Elements in investigations of aeolian processes[abstract]. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. December 3-7, 2012. San Francisco, California. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The representation of the dust cycle in atmospheric circulation models hinges on an accurate parameterization of the vertical dust flux at emission. However, existing parameterizations of the vertical dust flux vary substantially in their scaling with wind friction velocity, require input parameters that are not normally available on regional or global scales, and/or do not sufficiently account for differences in erodibility between soils. To help overcome these problems, we present a physically-based theory for the vertical dust flux that is based on the concept that dust emission is a threshold effect. The theory yields a straightforward analytical expression for the vertical dust flux that depends only on the wind friction velocity and the soil’s threshold friction velocity, and can therefore be readily implemented into regional and global circulation models. We show that our parameterization is supported by a compilation of high-quality vertical dust flux measurements, and that it reproduces field measurements with substantially less scatter than existing parameterizations.