Project: eFRAGMENT1 - eFRontiers in dust minerAloGical coMposition and its Effects upoN climaTe, phase 1

Prace Call: 17th
ID: 2018184470, Leader: Carlos Pérez García-Pando
Affiliation: Barcelona Supercomputing Center, ES
Research Field: Earth System Sciences
Resource Awarded: 34 Mil. core hours on MareNostrum


Soil dust aerosols are mixtures of different minerals, whose relative abundances, particle size distribution (PSD), shape, surface topography and mixing state influence their effect upon climate. However, Earth System and Chemical Transport Models typically assume that dust aerosols have a globally uniform composition, neglecting the known regional variations in the mineralogy of the sources. The representation of the global dust mineralogy is hindered by our limited knowledge of the global soil mineral content and our incomplete understanding of the emitted dust PSD in terms of its constituent minerals that results from the fragmentation of soil aggregates during wind erosion. The emitted PSD affects the duration of particle transport and thus each mineral’s global distribution, along with its specific effect upon climate. Coincident observations of the emitted dust and soil PSD are scarce and do not characterize the mineralogy. In addition, the existing theoretical paradigms disagree fundamentally on multiple aspects. A recently granted ERC Consolidator Grant called FRAGMENT (FRontiers in dust minerAloGical coMposition and its Effects upoN climaTe) was designed to fill this gap. FRAGMENT will use field campaigns, new theory, remote spectroscopy and modeling to understand and constrain the global mineralogical composition of dust along with its effects upon climate. In this context, eFRAGMENT1 is designed to tackle the modelling and HPC related activities of FRAGMENT during the 1st year of the project. The experiments proposed consist of 1) a dust data assimilation run involving 10-year long simulations of 20-member ensembles and 2) a global dust mineralogical composition run involving 10-year long simulations of 60-member ensembles, both in the period 2007-2016. Such experiments would not be possible without appropriate access to tier-0 computing resources and the associated support offered by PRACE. A total of 33 Mcore-hours are requested in this proposal. The project will be carried out by members of the Earth Sciences Department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center with the MONARCH model developed in the Department.