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Monitoring hydrological controls on dust emissions: preliminary observations from Etosha Pan, Namibia

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Atmospheric dust loadings have a significant influence on global climate by affecting air temperatures through the absorption and scattering of solar radiation. Many dryland basins are significant sources of aeolian dust, but our knowledge of how dust emissions from these systems are affected by ephemeral wetting events is either limited or poor. This research uses synergistic data sets (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)) in order to identify possible hydrological controls on aeolian dust emissions from the Etosha Basin, Namibia. Data suggest that individual inundation events (detected by AVHRR) within this basin have a marked effect on immediate and subsequent dust emissions (detected by TOMS). This study also outlines the contribution of dust emissions from both the pan surface and from the ephemeral oshanas region to the north of the Etosha Basin to the persistent dust plume, and highlights the complexity of the interactions between hydrology, land use and dust emissions within ephemeral basins.

Keywords: AVHRR; Etosha Pan, inundation; Namibia; TOMS; dust

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2003


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