East Asian dust episodes have a multitude of impacts, including on human health, environment, and climate over near-source and receptor regions. However, the mechanistic understanding of the synoptic conditions of these outbreaks at different altitude layers, and their eventual environmental impacts are less studied. The present study analyzed the synoptic transport patterns of East Asian dust during multiple dust generation episodes that occurred over only a few days apart in northern China, and which eventually delivered high PM10 concentrations to surface level and high-altitude locations in Taiwan. Whether the dust plume was uplifted ahead of or behind the 700 hPa trough over East Asia determined its trajectory and eventual impact on the environment downwind. The total dust (iron) deposition over the ocean surface preceding arrival to Taiwan was 2.4 mg m−2 (0.95 μg m−2) for the episode impacting the surface level and 5.0 mg m−2 (4.6 μg m−2) for the episode impacting high-altitude Taiwan. Dust deposition in marine areas east of China was more intense for the higher altitude transport event that was uplifted behind the 700 hPa trough and resulted in twice higher marine Chl-a concentrations. Furthermore, we estimated a dust-induced direct radiative effect over a high mountainous region in Taiwan of −6.2 to −8.2 W m−2 at the surface, −1.9 to −2.9 W m−2 at the top of the atmosphere and +3.9 to +5.3 W m−2 in the atmosphere. This dust-induced atmospheric warming and surface cooling are non-negligible influences on the atmospheric thermal structure and biogeochemical cycle over the western North Pacific. Overall, this study highlights the significant impacts of dust particles on the marine ecosystem and atmospheric radiation budget over the downwind region, thus lays the foundation for linking these impacts to the initial synoptic conditions in the source area.
- Direct radiative effect
- East Asian dust
- Lulin Atmospheric Background Station
- Phytoplankton bloom
- Transport mechanisms