Al-Hemoud, A; Al-Dousari, A; Al-Dashti, H; Petrov, P; Al-Saleh, A; Al-Khafaji, S; Behbehani, W; Li, J; Koutrakis, P (2020). Sand and dust storm trajectories from Iraq Mesopotamian flood plain to Kuwait. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 710, 136291.

Although Kuwait is greatly impacted by sand and dust storms (SDS) from Southern Iraq, lo dale little is known about the nature of these storms. Kuwait is vulnerable to SDS trajectories from the middle Euphrates region, specifically, from two "hot spot" areas (AI-Batha and Mamlahat Al-Samawah) of 4550 km(2) located 250 km from its northern border. This study explores the transboundary SDS jets originating from Southern Iraq using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images obtained from Aqua and Terra satellites over a twelve-year period (2007-2018). Furthermore, an analysis of a 5-day diurnal variation (two days prior, the day of the SDS occurrence, and two days after) explored the hourly patterns of visibility and wind speed, as well as grain size distribution of soil samples to better understand grain size compositions and sediment transport mechanisms. Satellite images confirmed that dust storm jets originated from the "hot spot" in southern Iraq and spread over Kuwait and extended to neighboring Arab Gulf countries as far as Bahrain (900 km) and Qatar (1200 km). In general, the highest wind speed and lowest visibility values were recorded in Northern of Kuwait, with suspended dust sustained for two days following the dust storm. The largest silt and day fractions (grains <= 63 mu m) were identified at the center and west Sabkha region of the "hot spot" area. Very fine sand partides (63-250 mu m) were identified within the crescent sand dunes (Barchans) and artificial sand dunes (Al-Fajr). It is recommended that sustainable rehabilitation and land restoration of the "hot spot" area will result in the elimination of the long-range transport of SDS jet streams affecting the downwind Gulf countries. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.