Destinations frequently impacted by dust storms originating from southwest Iran

Parya Broomandi, Ferhat Karaca, Mert Guney, Aram Fathian, Xueyu Geng, Jong Ryeol Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Deserts can be considered as one of the main sources of dust emissions as they are highly vulnerable to wind erosion, i.e. The lack of vegetative cover, as well as low soil wetness, contribute to the release of particles by wind erosion. The present study examines the seasonal variation in sand and dust storms (SDSs) originating from war-impacted semi-arid bare lands affected by chemical warfare located in southwest Iran for the period of 2007–2018. It employs a synthesis of satellite observations and Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model trajectories. A regression analysis between annual/seasonal absorbing aerosol index distribution and selected parameters indicated strong correlation with surface skin temperature, topsoil layer wetness, and 10-m wind speed. During both cold and warm periods, Kuwait and the Persian Gulf were highly vulnerable to episodic dust incursions as they were identified in the maximum impact zone (frequency of 100%). The Persian Gulf was affected by about 12% of the total air masses during the warm period, which increased to 74% during the cold period. Regarding the vulnerability to the high wind of war-impacted regions presumably contaminated with potentially toxic elements (PTEs) and toxic compounds, the particles of contaminated dust may have been continuously transported over by the strong winds, not only the surrounding region but also long distances including agricultural land and marine environment. The study area would possibly pose a danger to the environment and human health; therefore, a detailed site characterization to investigate the degree of contamination with PTEs and toxic compounds is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105264
JournalAtmospheric Research
Volume248
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2021

Keywords

  • Absorbing aerosol index (AAI)
  • Air pollution modelling
  • Particulate matter
  • Sand and dust storms (SDS)
  • The Persian Gulf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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