Dust storms and ephemeral lakes


Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QY, United Kingdom


In drylands, both dust storms and ephemeral salt lakes (playas) are common. Observations using remote sensing and ground studies have shown that these playas can be major sources of saline dust storms. Some basins have recently become desiccated as a result of water abstraction by humans, and these have become significant sources of dust. The timing and amounts of dust emissions depends on such factors as rainfall and drought events, the availability of sediment, and the nature of surface crust materials.