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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 861026, 14 pages
Research Article

Synergistic Use of Remote Sensing and Modeling for Tracing Dust Storms in the Mediterranean

1Research and Technology Development Centre, Sharda University, Knowledge Park III, Greater Noida, 201-306, India
2Center for Excellence in Earth Observing, Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866, USA
3School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866, USA
4Laboratory of Meteorology, Department of Physics, Athens University, Athens, Greece
5National Balloon Facility, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad 500 062, India
6Atmospheric Science Section, Oceanography Division, National Remote Sensing Centre, Department of Space-Government of India, Hyderabad 500 625, India
7Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
8Universities Space Research Association, Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA
9NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA
10Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Moharem Bek, Alexandria 21522, Egypt

Received 17 November 2011; Accepted 17 January 2012

Academic Editor: Achuthan Jayaraman

Copyright © 2012 D. G. Kaskaoutis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study focuses on the detection of the dust source region and monitoring of the transport of the dust plume from its primary outflow to final deposition. The application area is the Sahara desert and the eastern Mediterranean, where two dust events occurred during the period 4–6 February 2009, an unusual event for a winter period. The Aqua-MODIS and OMI observations clearly define the spatial distribution of the dust plumes, while the CALIPSO observations of total attenuated backscatter (TAB) at 532 nm, depolarization ratio (DR), and attenuated color ratio (1064/532 nm) on 5 February 2009 provide a clear view and vertical structure of the dust-laden layer. The dust source region is defined to be near the Chad-Niger-Libyan borders, using satellite observations and model (DREAM) output. This dust plume is vertically extended up to 2.5 km and is observed as a mass plume of dust from surface level to that altitude, where the vertical variation of TAB (0.002 to 0.2) and DR (0.2–0.5) implies dust-laden layer with non-spherical particles. CALIPSO profiles show that after the dust plume reached at its highest level, the dust particles start to be deposited over the Mediterranean and the initial dust plume was strongly attenuated, while features of dust were limited below about 1–1.5 km for latitudes northern of ~36° (Greek territory).