Mohaddese Effati1, Hossein-Ali Bahrami1, Ebrahim Babaeian2 and Markus Tuller2, (1)Department of Soil Science, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2)Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Saline dust storms are natural hazards affecting public health as well as agricultural and natural ecosystems. Saline playas in arid and semi-arid regions of the world are significant sources of unconsolidated sediments susceptible to aeolian transport. Urmia Lake in northwestern Iran, the sixth-largest saltwater lake on Earth, has waned to approximately 50% of its original size due to groundwater pumping and surface water diversions. This has led to ecosystem degradation, accelerated desertification and frequent dust storms, causing respiratory diseases and other health problems. The present study aims to identify and map potential dust source locations in the Urmia Lake region by means of satellite remote sensing (i.e., Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8) and laboratory spectroradiometer measurements. The relationships between remotely sensed land surface properties such as soil moisture, soil texture, and vegetation cover and dust events pre- and post-dating playa development are explored to inform potential remediation measures.