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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Dust Generator

Author: Guest Writer/Friday, January 11, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized

Dust is probably one environmental feature you’d rather not have to bother with. The choking Dust Bowl is not a pleasant thought.

However, in some situations and with smaller volumes, dust can be beneficial. Volcanic dust deposits produce rich and productive soils for vineyards, orchards, and many crops. Early this year, a satellite passing over Africa captured an impressive photograph of a wide dust-storm blowing from the Sahara Desert into the Atlantic Ocean. A veil of dust stretched from the coast of Mauritania to the Cape Verde Islands. Sand seas cover most of Mauritania and the Western Sahara and some of the dust could have traveled from as far inland as Mali.

While you wouldn’t want to fly a jet thru a cloud of dust or ash from any source, the air-borne material can provide nutrition to plankton and other micro-organisms at the base of the ocean food chain. The key is the volume of the dusty stuff.

wafrica-dust

West African Dust Storm, 1/7/13

(credit: NASA)

WHB

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