Areal extent of dust emission events and source geomorphology in Northern Africa from MSG-SEVIRI data

Ofer Lavi Bekin, Onn Crouvi, Dan G. Blumberg

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this study we (1) mapped the areal extent of current dust sources over Northern Africa between 8°W-31°E and 22°N - Mediterranean coast; and (2) identified and characterized the geomorphic units and soil types that emit dust from these areas. We used the full resolution (3 km) data from the MSG-SEVIRI to map dust sources over a 2-year period between 2005-2006, and examined these regions with remotely sensed images and geomorphic and soil maps. A total of >2600 individual dust emission events were mapped; with frequency up to 34 events in the 2-year study period. The areal extent of dust emission sources exhibited a lognormal distribution with most sources ranging from 20 to 130 km2. Most dust events were singular and related to a variety of specific geomorphic units. Dust events that created hotspots were mostly located over playas and fluvial landforms, and to a lesser extent over sand dunes and anthropogenic affected regions. About 20% of dust hotspots were offset a few kilometers from clear geomorphic units. Quantitative analysis of emissions revealed that dust sourced from various geomorphic units, among them playas (12%) and fluvial systems (10%). The importance of sand dunes as dust-emission sources greatly differs between examined datasets (7% vs. 30%). Our study emphasizes the importance of scattered dust emission events that are not considered as hotspots, as these sources are usually neglected in dust emission modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1641
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • Dust source geomorphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Areal extent of dust emission events and source geomorphology in Northern Africa from MSG-SEVIRI data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this