The Southern Kalahari: A potential new dust source in the southern hemisphere?

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Title The Southern Kalahari: A potential new dust source in the southern hemisphere?
Author Bhattachan, Abinash; D'Odorico, Paolo; Baddock, Matthew; Zobeck, Ted M.; Okin, Gregory S; Cassar, Nicolas
Journal Name Environmental Research Letters
Year Published 2012
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Institute of Physics Publishing
Abstract Most sources of atmospheric dust on Earth are located in the Northern Hemisphere. The lower dust emissions in the Southern Hemisphere in part limit the supply of micronutrients (primarily soluble iron) to the Southern Ocean, thereby constraining its productivity. Climate and land use change can alter the current distribution of dust source regions on Earth. Can new dust sources be activated in the Southern Hemisphere? Here we show that vegetation loss and dune remobilization in the Southern Kalahari can promote dust emissions comparable to those observed from major contemporary dust sources in the Southern African region. Dust generation experiments support the hypothesis that, in the Southern Kalahari, aeolian deposits that are currently mostly stabilized by savanna vegetation are capable of emitting substantial amounts of dust from interdune areas. We show that dust from these areas is relatively rich in soluble iron, an important micronutrient for ocean productivity. Trajectory analyses show that dust from the Kalahari commonly reaches the Southern Ocean and could therefore enhance its productivity.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
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Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the authors 2012.Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Volume 7
Page from 024001-1
Page to 024001-7
ISSN 1748-9326
Date Accessioned 2012-08-01
Language en_US
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Atmospheric Sciences; Environmental Sciences
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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