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Dust Storm Blows Sand Over Red Sea

18.2N 39.9E

June 12th, 2010 Category: Dust Storms

Red Sea - June 10th, 2010

Red Sea - June 10th, 2010

A dust storm or sandstorm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front blows loose sand and dust from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil erosion from one place and deposition in another.

The Sahara and drylands around the Arabian peninsula are the main source of airborne dust, with some contributions from Iran, Pakistan and India into the Arabian Sea, and China’s storms deposit dust in the Pacific. Here, dust can be seen blowing over the Red Sea. Yemen and Saudi Arabia are visible above, with Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti below.

It has been argued that recently, poor management of the Earth’s drylands, such as neglecting the fallow system, are increasing dust storms from desert margins and changing both the local and global climate, and also impacting local economies.

The term sandstorm is used most often in the context of desert sandstorms, especially in the Sahara, or places where sand is a more prevalent soil type than dirt or rock, when, in addition to fine particles obscuring visibility, a considerable amount of larger sand particles are blown closer to the surface. The term dust storm is more likely to be used when finer particles are blown long distances, especially when the dust storm affects urban areas.

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