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Six dust plumes, arising from a Santa Ana wind and covering an area of 1,700 km2 of the western Mojave Desert, were photographed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration LANDSAT/ERTS-1 satellite on January 1, 1973. The cause of erosion was identified as man’s destabilization of the natural surface through road building, agriculture, urbanization, stream-channel modification, and off-road vehicle recreation. The extensive, and growing, destabilization of the California desert surface provides for ever-increasing dust yields in storms of the future.

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