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Using thermal infrared (TIR) data to characterize dust storms and their sources in the Middle East

Mohammad, Redha (2012) Using thermal infrared (TIR) data to characterize dust storms and their sources in the Middle East. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Mineral dust and aerosols can directly and indirectly influence shortwave and longwave radiative forcing. In addition, it can cause health hazards, loss of agricultural soil, and safety hazards to aviation and motorists due to reduced visibility. Previous work utilized satellite and ground-based Thermal Infrared (TIR) data to measure aerosol content in the atmosphere. This research used TIR techniques, by creating a fine-grained (2.7-45 μm) mineral spectral library, direct laboratory emission spectroscopic analysis, and spectral and image deconvolution models, to characterize both the mineral content and particle size of dust storms affecting Kuwait. These results were validated using a combination of X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analyses that were performed on dust samples for three dust storms (May, July 2010, March 2011) from Kuwait. A combination of forward and backward Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) models were used to track air parcels arriving in Kuwait at the time of dust storm sample collection, thus testing the link to dust emitting areas or hotspots in eastern Syria and western Iraq. World soil maps and TIR analysis of surface deposits of these potential hotspots support this interpretation, and identified areas of high calcite concentration. This interpretation was in agreement with prior studies identifying calcite as the major mineral in dust storms affecting Kuwait. Spectral and image deconvolution models provided good tools in estimating mineral end members present in both dust samples and satellite plumes, but failed to identify the accurate particle size fractions present.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mohammad, Redharem37@pitt.eduREM37
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee Chairramsey, michaelmramsey@pitt.eduMRAMSEY
Committee Memberharbert,
Committee Memberrosenmeier,
Committee Memberjones, charlescejones@pitt.eduCEJONES
Committee Memberlancaster,
Committee MemberScheidt, Stephen
Date: 27 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 May 2012
Approval Date: 27 September 2012
Submission Date: 8 July 2012
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 176
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Planetary Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: remote sensing, dust, Kuwait, thermal infrared
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2012 01:26
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:59


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