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Title page of dr. Prospero's lecture.

A lecture on dust storms from glacial outwash plains

Tuesday 1st July at 13 pm at Keldnaholt, 112 Reykjavik, LBHI (AUI)


Satellite images of dust plumes emerging from glacial outwash plains on Iceland match up with dust peaks in a record of measurements at Storhofdi on Heimaey, Westman Islands, off the south coast of Iceland.

Dr. Joseph M Prospero from CIMAS at Miami University wants to a coordinate study of dust source and transport processes on Iceland, the role of humans, the impact of weather/climate change and possible human health impacts.

Later, the anticipation of impacts of climate change on high latitude dust source processes in general could be explored, especially the possible role of glacier retreat, assuming that glacial outwash sources play a major role. Iceland could be a laboratory for studying such processes:

- There are frequent dust storms on Iceland
- The major sources of dust seem to be glacial outwash soils, not agricultural soils
- These mobilize large quantities of dust which may be transported over great distances
- The dust could impact on air quality in the British Isles and Europe (in addition to Iceland)
- The dust could play a role in ocean biogeochemistry in the high latitudes
- Iceland dust may be having an impact on the dust deposition on Summit where dust in ice/snow cores is used as a climate proxy
- With global warming and with the retreat of glaciers, we might expect outwash regions to become an increasingly important source of dust in the high latitudes

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