Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2023-16
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2023-16
12 Jan 2023
 | 12 Jan 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Spatial variability of Saharan dust deposition revealed through a citizen science campaign

Marie Dumont, Simon Gascoin, Marion Réveillet, Didier Voisin, François Tuzet, Laurent Arnaud, Mylène Bonnefoy, Montse Bacardit Peñarroya, Carlo Carmagnola, Alexandre Deguine, Aurélie Diacre, Lukas Dürr, Olivier Evrard, Firmin Fontaine, Amaury Frankl, Mathieu Fructus, Laure Gandois, Isabelle Gouttevin, Abdelfateh Gherab, Pascal Hagenmuller, Sophia Hansson, Hervé Herbin, Béatrice Josse, Bruno Jourdain, Irene Lefevre, Gaël Le Roux, Quentin Libois, Lucie Liger, Samuel Morin, Denis Petitprez, Alvaro Robledano, Martin Schneebeli, Pascal Salze, Delphine Six, Emmanuel Thibert, Jürg Trachsel, Matthieu Vernay, Léo Viallon-Galinier, and Céline Voiron

Abstract. Saharan dust outbreaks have profound effects on ecosystems, climate, human health and the cryosphere in Europe. However, the spatial deposition pattern of Saharan dust is poorly known due to a sparse network of ground measurements. Following the extreme dust deposition event of February 2021 across Europe, a citizen science campaign was launched to sample dust on snow over the Pyrenees and the European Alps. This somewhat improvised campaign triggered wide interest since 152 samples were collected in the snow in the Pyrenees, the French Alps and the Swiss Alps in less than four weeks. An analysis of the samples showed a large variability in the dust properties and amount. We found a decrease in the deposited mass and particle sizes with distance from the source along the transport path. This spatial trend was also evident in the elemental composition of the dust as the iron mass fraction decreased from 11 % in the Pyrenees to 2 % in the Swiss Alps. At the local scale, we found a higher dust mass on south facing slopes, in agreement with estimates from high-resolution remote sensing data. This unique dataset, which resulted from the collaboration of several research laboratories and citizens, is provided as an open dataset to benefit a large community and enable further scientific investigations.

Marie Dumont et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-16', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Feb 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Marie Dumont, 30 May 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2023-16', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Apr 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Marie Dumont, 30 May 2023

Marie Dumont et al.

Data sets

Dataset related to the study "Spatial variability of Saharan dust deposition revealed through a citizen science campaign Dumont, Marie; Gascoin, Simon; Reveillet, Marion; Voisin, Didier; Evrard, Olivier; Gandois, Laure; Herbin, Herve; Le Roux, Gael; Lefevre, Irene https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7464063

Video supplement

Video related to the study "Spatial variability of Saharan dust deposition revealed through a citizen science campaign" Dumont, Marie; Josse, Beatrice; Gascoin, Simon; Reveillet, Marion https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7457613

Marie Dumont et al.

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Short summary
Saharan dust outbreaks have profound effects on ecosystems, climate, health and cryosphere, but the spatial deposition pattern of Saharan dust is poorly known. Following the extreme dust deposition event of February 2021 across Europe, a citizen science campaign was launched to sample dust on snow over the Pyrenees and the European Alps. This campaign triggered wide interest and over 100 samples. The samples revealed the high variability of the dust properties within a single event.