Dustfall Associated with Dust Storms in the Al-Ahsa Oasis of Saudi Arabia


Dustfall is a major threat to agricultural and industrial infrastructures, as well as to other aspects of livelihood. Dustfall associated to a severe dust storm that hit the Al-Ahsa Oasis of Saudi Arabia during 12-13 March 2014 is discussed in this paper. The storm caused widespread and heavy dust deposition. A dramatic decrease in the visibility coincided with the storm, and the average dust concentrations recorded during a peak 10-hour period were 6772, 5862.4 and 451.1 μg/m3 for total suspended particles (TSP), particulate matter smaller than or equal to 10 μm (PM10) and those smaller than or equal to 2.5 μm (PM2.5), respectively. The lowest visibility was 200 m, and the wind speed increased to 17.5 m/s from the north. The average daily dust deposited in the study area during the event was 12.84 (SD = 1.2) g/(m2?d). The dust samples comprised insoluble dust (48.5%) and soluble dust (51.5%). Based on the Munsell color system, the final color description of the falling dust was 10 YR/6/3. A microphotograph of the dustfall (settleable particulate matter) captured by a stereo dissection microscope shows that the dust particles had various colors and sizes, and they contained fibers and vegetative debris).

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Almuhanna, E. (2015) Dustfall Associated with Dust Storms in the Al-Ahsa Oasis of Saudi Arabia. Open Journal of Air Pollution, 4, 65-75. doi: 10.4236/ojap.2015.42007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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