Airborne particle accumulation and composition at different locations in the northern Negev desert.

Z.Y. Offer, D. Goossens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atmospheric desert dust was collected over 36 months in ground-level collectors at four stations in the northern Negev desert, Israel. Three stations (Shivta, Sede Boqer and Avdat) are located in the desert itself whereas the fourth station (Sayeret Shaked) is situated at the desert fringe, in the transition zone between the true desert and the more humid area to the north. The dynamics of the dust in the three desert stations is similar and differs from that at the desert fringe station. In the desert, dust accumulation is highest in summer and lowest in winter, whereas the situation is reverse at the desert fringe. Also, the amount of accumulation is much higher in the desert itself. No important differences are observed with respect to the average grain size of the dust, but the temporal evolution in grain size variability at the desert fringe is different from that in the desert. Mineralogical analysis by means of X-ray diffraction shows that quartz and calcite, and to a lesser extent also dolomite, are the major constituents of the Negev dust. There is a good agreement between the quartz and calcite content of the dust samples and that of the outcropping rocks located slightly upwind of the four stations, suggesting that at least an important part of the dust collected is of rather local origin. However, the regular records of dust haze events in the northern Negev show that part of the dust that accumulates in this region is not of local origin, but originates from distant sources. This dust may later mix with the local dust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-120
JournalZeitschrift für Geomorphologie
Volume45
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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