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Arid regions as sources of mineral aerosols in the marine atmosphere

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January 01, 1981

Measurements show that in many ocean regions the major aerosol constituent is mineral matter derived from the continents. The greatest concentrations of soil aerosol particles are found over marine areas “downwind” from arid regions and deserts. Because of the transport of soil material out of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and India, the geometric mean mineral aerosol concentrations over the tropical North Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean were at least an order of magnitude greater than those over the Pacific Ocean and the North and South Atlantic. The concentration of soil aerosols in these regions produces highly turbid sky conditions. The relationship between the concentration distribution of soil aerosols over the oceans and that of haze suggests that climatological records of the frequency of occurrence of haze at sea may be useful for delineating those oceanic regions where soil aerosol transport might be most significant.

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GSA Special Papers

Desert Dust: Origin, Characteristics, and Effect on Man

Troy L. Péwé
Troy L. Péwé
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Geological Society of America
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January 01, 1981



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