Home | Mineral Dust | Dust Properties | Photogallery

The Dust Storm of September 2009: A Visitor from the Lake Eyre Basin

In late September 2009, much of eastern Australia experienced one of the largest dust storms in living memory. Much of this material was lifted from the Lake Eyre Basin in central Australia, by a strong frontal system which moved through the region. What is the nature of this material, and what are its effects? The Atmospheric Physics group at UNSW has been studying Australian mineral dust aerosol for a number of years, via a series of field campaigns in conjunction with our colleagues at CSIRO and ANSTO. This has placed us in a unique position to compare atmospheric dust (aerosol) collected in Sydney during the storm with dust collected at or near the source.

Figure1a: Dust storm over eastern Australia; Satellite: Terra - Pixel size: 2km, on 23/9/2009 at 00.05UTC. Figure1b: Australian dust northwest of New Zealand; Satellite Terra - Pixel size: 2km, on 23/9/2009 at 23.10 UTC.

Information on this website has been made available by the Atmospheric Physics Group at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.