MONARCH Regional Reanalysis of Desert Dust Aerosols: An Initial Assessment

Enza Di Tomaso*, Jerónimo Escribano, Sara Basart, Paul Ginoux, Francesca Macchia, Francesca Barnaba, Francesco Benincasa, Pierre Antoine Bretonnière, Arnau Buñuel, Miguel Castrillo, Emilio Cuevas, Paola Formenti, María Gonçalves-Ageitos, Oriol Jorba, Martina Klose, Lucia Mona, Gilbert Montané, Michail Mytilinaios, Vincenzo Obiso, Miriam OlidNick Schutgens, Athanasios Votsis, Ernest Werner, Carlos Pérez García-Pando

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Aerosol reanalyses are a well-established tool for monitoring aerosol trends, for validation and calibration of weather chemical models, as well as for the enhancement of strategies for environmental monitoring and hazard mitigation. By providing a consistent and complete data set over a sufficiently long period, they address the shortcomings of aerosol observational records in terms of temporal and spatial coverage and aerosol speciation. These shortcomings are particularly severe for dust aerosols. A 10-year dust aerosol regional reanalysis has been recently produced on the Barcelona Supercomputing Center HPC facilities at the high spatial resolution of 0.1 . Here we present a brief description and an initial assessment of this data set. An innovative dust optical depth data set, derived from the MODIS Deep Blue products, has been ingested in the dust module of the MONARCH model by means of a LETKF with a four-dimensional extension. MONARCH ensemble has been generated by applying combined meteorology and emission perturbations. This has been achieved using for each ensemble member different meteorological fields as initial and boundary conditions, and different emission schemes, in addition to stochastic perturbations of emission parameters, which we show is beneficial for dust data assimilation. We prove the consistency of the assimilation procedure by analyzing the departures of the assimilated observations from the model simulations for a two-month period. Furthermore, we show a comparison with AERONET coarse optical depth retrievals during a period of 2012, which indicates that the reanalysis data set is highly accurate. While further analysis and validation of the whole data set are ongoing, here we provide a first evidence for the reanalysis to be a useful record of dust concentration and deposition extending the existing observational-based information intended for mineral dust monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAir Pollution Modeling and its Application XXVIII
EditorsClemens Mensink, Oriol Jorba
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9783031127854
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023
Event38th International Technical Meeting on Air Pollution Modeling and its Application, ITM 2021 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 18 Oct 202122 Oct 2021
Conference number: 38

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
ISSN (Print)2213-8684
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8692


Conference38th International Technical Meeting on Air Pollution Modeling and its Application, ITM 2021
Abbreviated titleITM 2021


  • Aerosol data assimilation
  • Aerosol regional reanalysis
  • Aerosol speciation
  • Dust
  • Modis deep blue
  • 2023 OA procedure


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