Volume 96 (2018) Issue 3 Pages 255-268
The Gobi Desert is one of the major sources of Asian dust, which influences the climate system both directly and indirectly through its long-range transport by the westerlies. In this desert, three ground-based lidars are operated in Dalanzadgad, Sainshand, and Zamyn-Uud, Mongolia. This study firstly combined these lidars into a lidar network and shows the spatial development of a dust layer over the desert and the long-range transport of the dust during 22-23 May 2013 via the lidar network. During this dust event, a cold front accompanying an extratropical cyclone moved southeastward across the desert and sequentially passed through Dalanzadgad, Sainshand, and Zamyn-Uud. In Dalanzadgad, in the central part of the desert, a dust storm occurred owing to the strong wind (6-10 m s−1) associated with the cold front and reached a top height of 1.6 km. Some of the dust floated at a height of 0.9-1.6 km along the cold frontal surface. In Sainshand and Zamyn-Uud, in the eastern part of the desert, the dust layer extended from the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) to the free troposphere in the updraft region of warm air in the cold frontal system. Overall, while the dust layer was moving across the desert with the cold frontal system, it was developing up to the free troposphere. The mechanism of this development can be explained by the combination of two processes as follows: (1) the continuous emission of dust from the desert surface to the ABL by the strong wind around the cold front and (2) the continuous transport of the dust from the ABL to the free troposphere by the updraft of the warm air in the cold frontal system. This mechanism can contribute to the long-range transport of dust by the westerlies in the free troposphere.