Dust storm phenomena and their environmental impacts in Kuwait
Dust storms are one of the significant phenomena in the desert areas of the world. It is internationally agreed that days with visibility below 1000 metres due to dust present in the air are a result of strong winds. As Kuwait is part of the Arabian desert, which is identified as one of the major dust sources, so dust storm occurrence is more frequent especially during summer. Dust storms in Kuwait are mainly associated with north and north westerly winds, which are locally known `Shamal'. That is because this wind crosses the Iraqi and Arabian deserts before reaching Kuwait carrying a huge amount of dust and sand. There are local dust sources within Kuwait which supply these winds with dust. Dust occurs in Kuwait in four main types: 1) Sand/dust storm 2) Rising dust 3) Suspended dust 4) Haze There are many factors which play an important role in the occurrence of dust in Kuwait, they include the following: 1) Kuwait's location within the great desert belt. 2) Lack of rainfall. 3) Lack of vegetation cover. 4) Surface air turbulence due to huge amounts of radiation. 5) Human activities such as over-grazing, off-road driving. Dust and sand storms have a bad effect on environment in Kuwait. The main aspects of the environmental impact of dust which have been focussed on in this thesis, are: 1) Dust effects on vehicle body parts and the role of dust storms in road accidents due to poor visibility. 2) Dust effect on house parts and buildings. 3) Dust effects on human health from inhaling the fine dust particles which contain many organic and non-organic material. These materials, which are carried by dust, cause various types of allergies especially with respiratory system. There are many methods which have been used to reduce the amount of dust which is raised up in the air by strong winds. But it seems the most suitable method is tree planting which has many positive effects other than stabilising sand.