Atmospheric mineral dust is a major player in Earth System Science. It impacts on Earth’s climate through global shading, providing nuclei for cloud formation and providing a vector for the transfer of nutrients to the ocean and other continents.
Desert sand dunes are implicated in the production of dust from the Sahara (Crouvi et al. 2012), the world’s largest dust source. Samples of dune sands have been collected from across the Sahara Desert from Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Chad including the Bodélé Depression, the single biggest source of dust on Earth.
Experimental dust production from desert dune sands will be conducted using the method of Bullard et al. (2007). Remote sensing will be used to monitor Saharan dune fields and adjacent landforms (e.g. river and palaeolakes) to determine dust source frequency. The results will provide a test of the potential dust yield from desert sand dunes across the Sahara.