Characteristics of aeolian dust across northwest Australia

Lance Karlson, Richard Greene, Keith Scott, Ed Stelcer, Tadhg O'Loingsigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


South easterly trade winds have long been thought to transport aeolian dust across northwest Australia, but very little is known about the chemical and particle size characteristics of this material. From July 2008 to May 2009, 36 aeolian dust samples were collected monthly at four sites across Australia’s northwest. The results of ion beam analysis indicate that the samples consisted of four major elemental groups, one of which appeared to be transported across the sites during months in winter and summer. This group (characterised by higher ratios of Fe, Ti and Mn/Si than the Earth’s Crustal Average) also showed a decrease in particle sizes towards the west. This suggests that the dust may have had a central Australian source, while other groups richer in Si appear to have been locally derived. These results support previous models of seasonal dust transport, and may have relevance in regional climate modelling, the transport of nutrients into the Indian Ocean, mineral exploration and studies of respiratory health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalAeolian Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


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