Can anyone introduce to me some guideline or applied methods about Dust storm control in source areas
there are many countries which have challenges with dust storms. maybe some of these dust storms are salty and have different methods for biological performance. Certainly, these countries and their researcher's were applied some methods for stabilize and control of dust storm. i would like familiar with methods and will be grateful you if introduce me some article, guideline and photes
Dear Dr. Khosroshahi,
This is an interesting question! According to my experiences in this field, I would like to point out that sand dune control and fixation techniques are very complex therefore each activity in this field should consider detail information about socio-economic and ecological conditions of the region. Mechanical and biological fixation techniques with considering ecological condition as well as indigenous knowledge are very helpful.
1 / 0 · 8 days ago
Dear Dr. Emadodin
Thank you for reply. you are right. socio-economic and ecological conditions and especially Mismanagement in soil, water and natural resources are the main problems in dust storm as a factor of desertification. i have more than 30 years experience and background in desert and desertification control and have seen Chinese work in their deserty province, but there are slight differences between source identify and control sand dune and dust. we have to do quick action to dust control in Iran and would like to know other countries experience with dust control.
The USA had the same problem for the Dust Bowl area of the Mid-West in the 1930s, and the only permanent solution was forming a new branch of the Federal government, to establish offices around the country in each County (District or Province), to replant the barren areas where the dust is getting airborne--and it costs truckloads of money each year.
The USA branch of government was originally called the Soil Conservation Service and now is the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
There needs to be a huge amount of money immediately thrown at the Dust Cloud problem to get it under control initially, maybe for the first decade or so, and that could be called the ACTION level budget. Then annual budgets need to be kept in place for perpetuity so that the problem can be monitored so it does not happen again, and that could be called the MAINTENANCE budget.
And you may need a third budget, to pay people to keep the vegetation covering the ground instead of going into cow or sheep bellies, we can those the CONSERVATION EASEMENTS, where the land owners get an annual payment per acre to keep those lands covered with native local vegetation, instead of being plowed or grazed to dust.
The ACTION budget for a country the size of the USA with a chronic Dust Cloud problem today would be about $100 billion dollars a year, and the maintenance budget in 2014 for the USA for this process was about 1/10th of that, $9 billion dollars.
Currently there are offsets that could be gained by replanting the barren areas, in the form of carbon credits, for example, and arid desert lands make the perfect place to store carbon in the soil, because it says there for millennia, as long as you keep the vegetation in place.
Plus replanting the barren areas, once you control the Dust Cloud, should increase the rainfall significantly, and cause some cooling in terms of the summer day and night maximum temps., like you can see athttp://www.ecoseeds.com/cool.html.
The only mistake the USA made in the 1930s and that others should never repeat, for wildland or abandoned agricultural areas, ALWAYS use local native plant seeds, even if you have to create a seed industry from scratch to get those seeds reproduced in bulk. NEVER used exotic seeds to replant the barren areas, even if they are very cheap and plentiful.
You can see some images of the USA 1930s Dust Bowl at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl.
Another modern approach is for the Federal Government of a country to purchase all of the lands where the Dust Clouds originate, and turn them into Ecological Restoration Preserves, where no tilling or grazing is allowed.
These areas are revegetated with the local native plants, either allowed to revegetate on its own naturally or with help from the humans with seeds and fertilizers. If humans are going to help, then the local peoples who used to till or graze the area, are usually the best to pay to replant the area, because they usually know the area the best.
You can see the scale of what I am suggesting for the Arabian Peninsula for Ecological Restoration Preserves for example, athttp://ww.ecoseeds.com/cool.html
Dear Craig Dremann thank you for detail reply.
In Iran and neighboring countries, Dust storms depends on the mismanagement of water entirely. a large part of the dust storms comes from the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria and we can not do anything about it, because they are out of my country. Iraqi desert in Mesopotamia were dried for Construction of dams in Turkey, also Hamoon wetlands plain in Zabol (east west of Iran) has similar condition because Afghanistan has built a dam in upstream. Urmia lake in northwest of Iran has the same situation. Now, dried substrates These wetlands and plains Is a source of dust storms.
Since the water resource management is not possible in a short time, So we must have a quick action plan for to solve this problem.
Thanks for your reply. We have the same situation here in California when Los Angeles dewatered the Owens Valley in the 1920s and when agriculture dried up the San Joaquin valley Tulare lakes, and now those two areas have some of the highest PM 2.5 rates in the USA.
The only solution to dry river and lake beds is more water, and that is accomplished by more natural vegetation planted in the surrounding watersheds to increase the run off.
Here in California the officials have been planting saline native grasses in the dry Owens Lake bed for decades and probably spending millions of dollars, without much success. The final solution was to ADD WATERr again, that you can read at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owens_Lake .
Since your country is stuck in the middle of the Arabia-Pakistan Dust Cloud, it is hoped that the whole region in the future can work together to eliminate the Dust Cloud problem, and perhaps that work could get started by annual meeting between the countries on the issue?
Otherwise the Dust Cloud may cause the rainfall of your area to go lower and lower over time, and since the Dust Cloud has moved eastward into India this last year, its effects are stopping the monsoon moisture hundreds of miles eastward from the normal India-Pakistan border-edge, and may create new deserts there.
I am concerned that the Dust Cloud impacts the whole area from northern India to Arabia and blocks the monsoon moisture, like what happened to the Indus Civilization thousands of years ago. The only problem today, is that the billion plus people, unlike the Indus people, would not have any place to move to if the monsoon was blocked by the Dust Cloud for years or decades.
That is why management of the whole Dust Cloud is more important than the dust originating from the dry lake beds and dry river beds.
thank you Dr. Dremann, but I know this problem will not go away soon.
The problem of dust cloud is certainly a huge problem in regions of arid and semi-arid climatic zones due to lack of precipitation, scorching temperatures, dry weather and very high evaporation over much of the year. This includes the most parts of the Middle East in Iraq (including the Kurdistan Region where I live), Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and the Gulf states. This means that the phenomenon is of continental scale and no one local solution is practical, since the dust travels thousands of kilometers over the region before it settles down again. Consideration of proportionality is a necessity; in this context for example the dams over the Tigris or Euphrates rivers in Turkey lead to lesser amounts of water for domestic use, power generation and agriculture in the very narrow strips of land on the banks of rivers in Iraq (see Landsat or any other satellite imagery of this region). However, these rivers never irrigated ( and never can) hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of the Iraqi desert anyway. Similarly introducing vegetation in local areas of dust source in implausible in view of the immense shortage of water to the extent that many of the countries have put very expensive water desalinization plants for domestic water.
It seems to me there might be some hope of mitigating the problem of dust storms through dealing with static electricity in these areas. It is documented that friction between blowing wind over the surface of the Earth produces static electricity on the ground that is opposite to the static electricity that develop in the air due to the friction. The attraction between the positive and negative charges between the ground particles and the wind is an important factor in scooping these dust particles into an airborne state and thus exacerbates the problem by considerable additional amounts of dust. If there was to be a technique developed to diffuse the static electricity of the ground; the amount of dust that is thrown into the air could be reduced greatly. This work involves delineating the source areas for the dust through geological surveying and remote sensing and then dealing with these areas by physical experimentation and measures.
I am suggesting replanting the local native plants that can get established with whatever natural rainfall exists, and using native plants that can grow without irrigation. And when areas are used for grazing, that some cover is left instead of grazing to dust.
The local native plants in the area would include annual and perennial grasses, members of the onion family, Amaranth family, Borage family, Mint family, Bean family, Caper family, Chenopodium family, Sunflower family, Hibiscus family, Olive family, Plantago family, Morning glory family, Mustard family, etc.
And even though the Dust Clouds move over a large area, their loci of origins of each cloud are from smaller areas that could be worked on first.
Dear Craig Dremann
Replanting needs enough water and rainfall in desert and dried lake. i sent 2 photos from 2 situation of a wetland . see you email pleas
4 days ago
The problem of the dry lake beds will only be solved by adding water, and in the California case, vegetation of the lake bed did not work and we had to add the water. I can see the impact of the lack of water on Urmia lake from Google Earth, that it is turning into a saline dry lake bed, what we call here a "playa".
If you cannot add water because your neighbors are keeping it behind dams, you have to replant the surrounding watershed with plants that can grow on their own with the limited desert rainfall, to increase the rainfall during the summer monsoon season.
If you monitor the monsoon moisture that passes over your country each summer, there is enough moisture that could be harvested by the added natural vegetation, that you could potentially go from a few cm. per year in the driest central and SE part of your country to up to 20-50 cm. or more.
This is a similar situation where natural vegetation exists in the mountains above Salalah compared to the surrounding barren Arabian peninsula.
If you look at the examples of the original vegetation of your country, it was a forest prior to the domestication of grazing animals, and you can still see examples like around the town of Ardeha or the town to the east at Lat, N37.83 and Long, E47.68 which looks like oak woodlands from Google Earth--like you can read about in "Forests of Iran: A Treasure from the Past, a Hope for the Future."
And it is the oak woodlands surrounding that town, that bring the rainfall to that area so that farming can occur there,
But that process ecological restoration process has to go step-by-step, with the annual desert plant colonizers to cover the soil first, then the perennial grasses and herbaceous perennial plants, then the shrubs, then the trees.
Iran has enough examples left of the original ecosystems that they could be used as points to work from, and use those native seed resources that still remain, and increase the relic areas in size.
The main issue is money and significant annual budgets to do something on a country-wide scale, which is what needs to happen in your area.
Unfortunately the drop in oil prices will be a big impact of having a budget, but perhaps your government will decide to transfer funds from the annual military budget to promote and increase in rainfall and ecological security, like most countries around the world will need to do in the near future
Dear Dr. Craig Dremann
In Iran only the Gulf of Gwatr (Iranian coasts of the OmanSea) is affected by monsoon rainfall, but urmia lake no. as you saw in google earth, urmia lake has water but a large areas was Dried during the last 10-15 years , so it is very salty and it is not possible to grow any vegetation in Dry areas. I wanted some picture for you from situation of dried lake (ormia and Hamoon lake and so on, but I diden’t find your email. You can see my institute website the below address:
I would like to add that a very major factor in this region is the nature of geological formations that crop out at the surface. Barren surface outcrops of vast areas of the Middle East Syria, Iraq and Iran consist of sandstone, silt stones, marl, shale and other clay and silt rich rocks many of which are not well lithified. These outcrops cover areas so vast that they are out of proportion for any river or water kept behind dams to be able to create an environment for vegetation. Granted the dams in Turkey have affected the amount of water available for domestic use, limited irrigation on the banks of the rivers, but the water quantities that were available prior to the construction of the dams were neve
Dear Nazar M. S. Numan
These geological formations that you said, have existed since ancient times and during the geological period ,But dust storms Have been much in recent years. so So whatever has changed is the mismanagement of water, Both dams and wells or deviation of water (such as the Aral Sea) have caused The downstream were dried and exceed dust storms.
Your country has exactly the same severe environmental damages as we have here in California. We plowed and planted our native perennial grasslands or grazed them to dust, so only annual grasses or shrubs grow in those areas today. And we cut down our oak woodlands to plant our irrigated crops, and now we are wondering why all of our State is drying up and turning into desert, with zero rainfall so far in January when this month is normally the peak of our five-month rainy season?
There are three rainfall borders, that between desert annuals and perennial grasslands and then between grasslands and oak woodlands then the border between oaks and conifer forests. The only way to fix the lake, is to replant the natural vegetation around it, so that vegetation increases the rainfall for the whole watershed, then refills the lake that way.
If you have an annual grass area, you need to replant the native perennial grasses and their associated broadleaf plants, and keep it as an Ecological Restoration Preserve, where you do not utilize the area for grazing. We need to set aside at least 35-40% of the lands surrounding our arid lands grazing and farming as Ecological Restoration Preserves, just to maintain adequate rainfall for our crops and grazing lands.
We have been so used to using every square kilometer of land on the planet to the maximum human use, we forgot to leave some of the natural vegetation unmolested and unharvested, so that the natural rainfall cycle could continue to water our croplands and fill our lakes.
sand dune fixation in iran has a history around fifty years. some activities have been successful, specialty in central Iran but parallel works in the field of natural resource management without considering social and ecological aspects have created some new problems, for example mismanagement in the water resource management caused soil degradation and created some environmental problems.
please see two review papers in below, I hope this could help you!
Soil degradation and agricultural sustainability: an overview from Iran
Degradation of soils as a result of long-term human-induced transformation of the environment in Iran: an overview
Dear Mohammad Khoroshahi
Among the hierarchy of factors that may affect desertification and dust storms, climate change is by far the most effective one. By climate change I do not mean only anthropogenic climate change; rather the natural climate change which is in the context of the Milankovich Cycle of climate change. To cite an example in central and the northern part of Iraq there was a huge N-S trending lake in the Tharthar Wadi whose length was up to 400 km. We know this from remnants of lake deposits which I happen to have seen and examined a Ph.D. thesis on them. However this lake was between 60-40 thousand years ago during an interglacial period characterized in this region by continuous and very heavy rain. This lake became dry not because of any mismanagement of water along rivers but because of the much bigger effect of the Milankovich Cycle which impacted far beyond the narrow stretch of river banks which may or may not have been well managed . In fact there were hardly large populations of Homo sapiens or for that matter Neanderthals armed with Stone Age technology to have had any tangible derogatory effect on water. So the crux of the matter is that in a desert that extends over hundreds of thousands of square kilometers, good management or mismanagement of water resources will have subliminal effect in the attempt to solve the dust problem. Indeed the humidity of the air in the long summer season over much of this area approaches zero. This is why I believe approaching the problem of diffusing static electricity may be done in dust source areas and I do not discount the suggestion by Craig Dremann of trying out proliferation of local desert shrubs in areas in which they have not survived and thrived naturally. I do agree with the seriousness and urgency of this problem which needs a rational multidisciplinary approach together with international collaboration.
Dear Dr. Nazar M. S. Numan
Yes you are right, but i talk about the dust storms of the past few years. Certainly climate change occurred during the geological period. For example In Iran, many deserts such as Dasht-e-kavir with 10 million hectares was as a sea water but now. it was known as a big desert. Whatever I say to you, dust storms have increased in recent decades. Dust storms which affect Iran, come from Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Rab- alkhali desert in Saudi Arabia and these dust storms related to in mismanagement of water in this region. For example, water resources management plans Tigris and Euphrates in Turkey began in 1977 to 1989. in the framework of this program was built 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric power plants.
This dam's reservoir storage capacity was 32 billion cubic meters. In 1992, Ataturk Dam reservoir with a volume of 30 billion cubic meters with a water tunnel and also Ilisu Dam on the Tigris in Turkey was constructed (Sanliurfa). It can be said, The changes of Mesopotamian wetlands occurred between 90 and 95 AD. At the time remained only 98 square kilometers from 3121 square kilometers in central Hur.
This subject indicates that about 97% of this area has been destroyed durig 5 years. Now this is the huge origin dust storms that has impact on Iran, especially in Khuzestan