What is it about?

The overall objective of this study was to demonstrate the role of dust and sandstorms in increasing the drought areas and reducing runoff in the study area by characterizing the statistical analysis between them and rain, temperature, Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and runoff values. In addition, the feeding regions of these storms were identified and mapped to indicate how they moved towards the study area by studying and analysing the direction of the winds in the area. A storm is tracked as an example of these phenomena using GIS particle tracking analysis where the path of the storm, its changing size and the duration of the occurrence are identified. Four feeding-sources areas were detected, two of them from outside the Iraqi border and the other within the Iraqi border. These sources are identified below where the effective dust and sand load fluctuated between very low to moderate according to adopted dust loads in the Middle East map

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Why is it important?

The study area represents the Iraqi agricultural economic centre, providing Iraq with significant quantities of wheat and barley crops that are necessary to meet the requirements of the population.


There are many reasons for the increase in local and regional dust and sandstorms in Iraq, the strongest being global climate change. To minimize the effects, the decision maker of a province should adopt modern methodologies such as remote sensing and GIS to track and even predict these kinds of storms, taking into account their impact on society and the environment. Artificial neural network models can be used in predicting many factors that affect sandstorms, such as increasing temperature where, according to their characteristic, they can solve many problems; prediction or forecasting is a powerful attribute of artificial neural networks.. Optimal management of water resources, adoption of water harvesting techniques in desert areas and the creation of plant belts to cut off the tracks of these storms are suitable solutions in reducing the impact of these environmental phenomena.

Dr. bashar muneer yahya
University of Mosul

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Impact of Dust and Sandstorms in Increasing Drought Areas in Nineveh Province, North-western Iraq, Journal of Asian and African Studies, November 2018, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0021909618812913.
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