Dust sources over the Arabian Peninsula

Harikishan Gandham, Hari Prasad Dasari, Md Saquib Saharwardi, Ashok Karumuri, Ibrahim Hoteit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the characteristics of crucial dust sources and changes in their emissions over the Arabian Peninsula (AP) over the 20002022 period using high-resolution dust aerosol optical depth (DOD) data from the Moderate Resolution Imagining Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aerosol measurements onboard Terra and Aqua platforms. The MODIS dust retrievals successfully unravel the hitherto-unexplored key dust source regions and spatial heterogeneity in dust emissions. Critically, MODIS-defined dust sources display a robust geomorphological signature. In Iraq, the Tigris and Euphrates River basins contain extensive dust sources; the Euphrates dust sources are stronger and more widespread. Localized dust sources are noticed over Syria. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the eastern province particularly facilitates extensive dust activity. Oman is the prominent dust source in the southern AP due to the presence of intruding sand dunes.Dust emissions in the Iraq and KSA regions exhibit a significant negative correlation with the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), a drought index, establishing that the local droughts enhance the dust emissions in these regions. The recent sustained droughts from 2008–2013 caused a remarkable escalation in the dust emissions in these regions through the modification of land surface conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
StatePublished - Aug 24 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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