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Journal of Arid Land  2017, Vol. 9 Issue (5): 753-762    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0031-5
Orginal Article     
Detecting sand-dust storms using a wind-profiling radar
Minzhong WANG1,*(), Hu MING2, Wen HUO1, Hongxiong XU3, Jiangang LI1, Xingcai LI4
1 Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China
2 Northwest Air Traffic Management Bureau, Civil Aviation Administration of China, Xi’an 710082, China
3 State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Science, Beijing 100081, China
4 School of Physics & Electrical Information Engineering, Ningxia Key Laboratory of Intelligent Sensing for the Desert Information, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China
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Sand-dust storm is a type of disastrous weather, typically occurring in arid and semi-arid climates. This study selected a region in the hinterlands of the Taklimakan Desert, called the Tazhong region, as the experimental area to quantitatively estimate the particle concentrations of sand-dust storms using the boundary layer wind-profiling radar. We thoroughly studied the radar echo signals and reflectivity factor features during the sand-dust storms. The results indicate that (1) under sand-dust storm conditions, boundary layer wind-profiling radar cannot capture the complete information regarding horizontal wind velocity and direction, but it can obtain the backscattering intensity of sand-dust storms; and (2) during sand-dust storms particle size distributions in the surface layer closely resemble log-normal distributions, with sand-dust particles sizes of 90-100 μm accounting for the maximum particle probability. Retrieved particle size distributions at heights of 600, 800, and 1000 m follow log-normal distributions, and the expected value of particle diameter decreases gradually with increasing height. From the perspective of orders of magnitude, the retrieved results for particle number concentrations and mass concentrations are consistent with previous aircraft-detected results, indicating that it is basically feasible to use boundary layer wind-profiling radar to quantitatively detect the particle concentrations of dust storms.

Key wordsecho signal      mass concentration      retrieval method      sand-dust storm      wind-profiling radar      Taklimakan Desert     
Received: 20 October 2016      Published: 22 August 2017
Corresponding Authors: Minzhong WANG     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Minzhong WANG, Hu MING, Wen HUO, Hongxiong XU, Jiangang LI, Xingcai LI. Detecting sand-dust storms using a wind-profiling radar. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(5): 753-762.

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