Stacks Image 1849
Mineralogy of Dust Emissions and impacts on Environment and Health (MegDEth)

Mineral dust is a major modulator for environmental processes with impacts on radiative transfer, clouds, ocean fertilization and human health. All aforementioned impacts are affected by particle composition which in turn is a function of the soil mineralogy at the source regions. Absence of this information from relevant studies results in limited accuracy of future climate projections and dust impacts on weather, biogeochemistry and health. Our hypothesis is that dust mineralogy plays a more important role in nature than currently acknowledged and including this parameter in modeling studies could improve the future projections related to weather and climate forcing of dust.

Upon this hypothesis we propose to develop novel processing chains and techniques for deriving mineralogical information directly from satellite hyperspectral and multispectral sensors and integrate this information in atmospheric models. In MegDEth we will: (i) Improve the representation of dust emissions in atmospheric models with the assimilation of satellite data; (ii) Derive a mineralogical map of Saharan dust sources by applying advanced pattern recognition algorithms on hyperspectral and multi-spectral satellite sensors; (iii) implement the above information in WRF-Chem atmospheric model; (iv) Quantify the impacts of dust minerals on radiative transfer, cloud formation, ocean fertilization and human health using updated model simulations that will take into account the mineralogical composition of dust.

The project has received a funding of 189,715.00 € from the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation. The duration of the project is 36 months (April 2021-March 2024).