Spring in Vienna - EGU2016

EGU General Assembly 2016: AS3.4/CL4.13/GM11.4
Aeolian dust: Initiator, Player, and Recorder of Environmental Change

Varga, Gy., Újvári, G., Kovács, J., Jakab, G., Kiss, K., Szalai, Z. (2016). Granulometric profiling of aeolian dust deposits by automated image analysis. Geophysical Research Abstracts 18. Paper 5512-2

Determination of granulometric parameters is of growing interest in the Earth sciences. Particle size data of sedimentary deposits provide insights into the physicochemical environment of transport, accumulation and post-depositional alterations of sedimentary particles, and are important proxies applied in paleoclimatic reconstructions. It is especially true for aeolian dust deposits with a fairly narrow grain size range as a consequence of the extremely selective nature of wind sediment transport. Therefore, various aspects of aeolian sedimentation (wind strength, distance to source(s), possible secondary source regions and modes of sedimentation and transport) can be reconstructed only from precise grain size data. As terrestrial wind-blown deposits are among the most important archives of past environmental changes, proper explanation of the proxy data is a mandatory issue.
Automated imaging provides a unique technique to gather direct information on granulometric characteristics of sedimentary particles. Granulometric data obtained from automatic image analysis of Malvern Morphologi G3-ID is a rarely applied new technique for particle size and shape analyses in sedimentary geology. Size and shape data of several hundred thousand (or even million) individual particles were automatically recorded in this study from 15 loess and paleosoil samples from the captured high-resolution images. Several size (e.g. circle-equivalent diameter, major axis, length, width, area) and shape parameters (e.g. elongation, circularity, convexity) were calculated by the instrument software. At the same time, the mean light intensity after transmission through each particle is automatically collected by the system as a proxy of optical properties of the material. Intensity values are dependent on chemical composition and/or thickness of the particles.
The results of the automated imaging were compared to particle size data determined by three different laser diffraction instruments (Malvern Mastersizer 3000 with a Hydro LV unit; Fritsch Analysette 22 Microtec Plus and Horiba Partica LA-950 v2) and SEM micrographs. To date, there has been very few data published on automated image analyses of size and shape parameters of sedimentary deposits, accordingly many uncertainties exist about the relationship among the results of the different applied methods.
Support of the Hungarian Research Fund OTKA under contract PD108708 (for G. Varga) is gratefully acknowledged. It was additionally supported (for G. Varga) by the Bolyai János Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Several hundred tons of windblown dust material are transported every year from Saharan dust source areas into direction of Europe, modifying important climatic and other environmental processes of distant areas. North African aerosols have been also identified several times a year in the Carpathian Basin, where under the influence of certain synoptic meteorological conditions Saharan dust accumulation can clearly be observed.
Previous satellite based studies were suitable to estimate the frequency and magnitude of Saharan dust episodes in the investigation area, however, the assessment of North African dust deposition can be done with model simulations. In this study, calculations were made by using the data of BSC-DREAM8b (Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s Dust REgional Atmospheric Model) v1.0 and v2.0 database. Simulation results of the BSC-DREAM8b v1.0 are available from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2012, while the results of the updated v2.0 calculations are ready for the period between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2014. BSC DREAM8b v1.0 model simulations for the period between 2000 and 2012 provided an annual mean of 0.0285 g/m2/y dry and 0.034 g/m2/y wet deposition values in the Carpathian Basin, which is equivalent to a total of 0.0636 g/m2/y. The updated v2.0 version for the period of 2006-2014 gave significantly larger values: 0.133 g/m2/y dry; 0.085 g/m2/y wet and 0.219 g/m2/y total annual dust deposition. By comparing the results of the overlapping period between 2006 and 2012 of the v1.0 and v2.0 simulations, the updated depositional scheme of the newer version provided ~3.7-fold values in case of dry deposition and ~1.9-fold increase in results of the wet deposition. Information available from individual events showed that the simulated wet and dry dust deposition rates are significantly underestimated. This is also suggested by previous model calculations which reported values between 5 and 10 g/m2/y for modern dust flux in the investigated area. According to our deposition adjustment estimations the annual amount of deposited Saharan dust can be set into the range between 1 and 5 g/m2/y.
This study is also aimed at providing an estimate on the Saharan dust sedimentation in past interglacials based on stratigraphic and sedimentary data of loess-paleosoil sequences and by using the values of recent dust accumulation simulations. The possible influence of accumulated aeolian material on soil properties and on paleoenvironmental interpretation of paleosoils (modified by syngenetic, external dust addition) will also be discussed.
Support of the Hungarian Research Fund OTKA under contract PD108708 (for G. Varga) is gratefully acknowledged. It was additionally supported (for G. Varga) by the Bolyai János Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Other contributions:
Jakab, G., Kiss, K., Szalai, Z., Ringer, M., Zacháry, D., Szabó, J., Varga, Gy.
Particle shape variations within a Luvisol profile

Szeberényi, J., Bradak-Hayashi, B., Kiss, K., Kovács, J., Varga, Gy., Balázs, R., Szalai, Z., Viczián, I.
‘Combined reflectance stratigraphy’ - subdivision of loess successions by diffuse reflectance spectrometry (DRS)

Újvári, G., Stevens, T., Varga, Gy., Kovács, J., Molnár, M.
Coeval dust accumulation minima in Greenland and East Central Europe over 31-23 ka

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