Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Global Dust

  • Edward Derbyshire
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_158


Global dust refers to palls or plumes of solid particles suspended in the troposphere, to be transported for thousands of kilometers by the action of strong, turbulent winds in source regions characterized by dry land surfaces with little or no vegetation cover. Other notable sources include the volcanic ash (tephra) emitted during eruptions and organic matter and elemental carbon derived from forest fires and industrial sources (Gieré, 2010). A large proportion of global dust particles have aerodynamic diameters finer than 20 micrometers (μm).


Erosion, airborne transport and deposition of solid dust particles have occurred throughout geological time. Evidence of such events includes wind transport and deposition of mineral dust over the past 2.6 Myr in the form of the thick clayey-silt formation, known as loess, found on all inhabited continents. Long range (hemispherical and global) transport of dust involves atmospheric turbulence in source areas such as...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CheltenhamUK
  2. 2.Centre for Quaternary ResearchRoyal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK