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Team devises technique to predict dust storms with infrared satellite

ScienceDaily (July 6, 2010)

Team devises technique to predict dust storms with infrared satellite

ScienceDaily (July 6, 2010)

Researchers have developed a method for predicting dust and sandstorms that uses infrared satellite images to determine when conditions are ripe for the destructive phenomena, a technique that could be implemented globally and that the research team used to forecast a 2008 New Mexico dust storm — the area’s largest in decades — two days beforehand.

Thermal and visible images of New Mexico’s White Sands Dune Field captured by NASA’s Earth-orbiting ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflectance Radiometer) instrument reliably indicated when soil moisture levels were low enough to result in a dust storm

The researchers plan to build on their work at White Sands by observing arid and semi-arid areas with different soil characteristics, particularly albedo, which is uniquely high at White Sands. They also suggested that monitoring desert areas via ASTER can be further validated with field measurements of soil density, moisture, and composition.

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The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh

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