Dust storms in Central Asia: Spatial and temporal variations

R. Indoitu, L. Orlovsky, N. Orlovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dust/sand storms are common events in the arid and semi-arid regions of Central Asia. The region is characterized by strong winds, scarcity of vegetation cover, continental climate with long and dry summers, frequent soil and atmospheric droughts. Central Asian drylands, covered by a great variety of desert types, represent a powerful source of mineral and salt aerosols.The main objectives of this study are to monitor and assess the spatial and temporal distribution of dust storms over the Central Asian region during the last seven decades. The identified active source areas of dust storms are located mainly in the sandy deserts and other types of deserts where the sensitive ecosystems suffered from human impact. The main persistent sources of dust storms are located in the large "dust belt" that extends from west to east over the southern deserts, north of Caspian Sea deserts, south of Balkhash Lake, and Aral Sea region. The results of the analysis show a significant decrease in dust/sand storm frequency during the last decades and considerable changes in the active source areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2012


  • Distribution
  • Dust source
  • Frequency
  • Middle Asia
  • Seasonality

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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