SEDIMENTARY CHARACTERISTICS AND CLIMATIC ANALYSIS OF EASTERLY DUST STORMS IN THE NEGEV (ISRAEL)

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SUMMARY

Sedimentary and meteorological characteristics of easterly dust storms causing severe damage in the Negev in November 1958 are analysed. Though the heavy storm originated in weather conditions outside of the affected area, the intense dustiness was of a more local nature. The sedimentological character of the dust indicates that the largest portion was of local origin, picked up by the turbulent current in the loess area of the northern Negev on its passage westward. Total quantity of sediment transported in the Beersheba Basin is estimated to be 10–20 million tons.

The analysis of climatic data and of sedimentary characteristics of several other dust samples indicates that though severe dust storms can produce dramatic effects in transporting and deposition of aeolian dust, the rare occurrence of easterly dust storms does not make it likely that they were responsible for the import of aeolian sediments found in the northern Negev.

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