Study: Heavy rains can produce more dust

October 26, 2005

A recent NASA study of some of Earth's dustiest areas indicates heavy downpours can eventually lead to more dust being released into the atmosphere.

Researchers examining 14 of the Earth's dustiest regions found rainfall and flooding leave behind sediments in some areas that include fine grain size particles that eventually get carried by winds, increasing the amount of airborne dust released a year or more later.

The research also confirms dust emissions from a specific region can vary considerably from season-to-season, or year to year, and are largely dependent on climate patterns, said Charles Zender of the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California-Irvine, and lead author of the study.

Overall, in the 14 source regions studied, anomalies in dust emissions were closely related to precipitation in 12, vegetation in eight, and to wind speed in two, suggesting rainfall is the best climate predictor of dust emissions.

"This study highlights the importance of soil characteristics in dust emission and shows their influence to be more prevalent than previously believed," said Zender.

The study was published online in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Study suggests the Red Planet was icy rather than watery billions of years ago

Related Stories

New study favors cold, icy early Mars

June 15, 2015

The high seas of Mars may never have existed, according to a new study that looks at two opposite climate scenarios of early Mars and suggests that a cold and icy planet billions of years ago better explains water drainage ...

Researchers narrow birth estimate for the Takliman Desert

June 12, 2015

The second largest sand sea in the world, the Takliman Desert in central Asia influences geology, the global climate, and has even shaped the development of global human culture—the two branches of the Silk Road along its ...

Recommended for you

EFF and partners place Do Not Track on higher plane

August 5, 2015

Yes, you have the option of "Do Not Track" when using well-known browsers. Still, reports come in regularly of stealthy online tracking activities, where your reading histories can be exploited. An announcement this week ...

Can genes make us liberal or conservative?

August 4, 2015

Aristotle may have been more on the money than he realised in saying man is a political animal, according to research published Wednesday linking genes with liberal or conservative leanings.

Expanding theory of evolution

August 5, 2015

An Indiana University professor is part of an international team of biologists working to expand Darwin's theory of evolution to encompass factors that influence a species' growth and development beyond genetics—as well ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.