Frequency and magnitude of dust events in the Australian Mallee from 1990-2015

John Leys 1 ,2, Ben Love2, Craig Strong3, Grant McTainsh2, Michael Case1
1NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Gunnedah, NSW, Australia, 2Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 3Fenner School of Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

The Mallee region around Mildura is well known for it's dust storms. In March 1990, a high volume air sampler that measures total suspended sediment (TSP) was installed at the Soil Conservation Service depot in Buronga. It was turned off in March 2015. We believe that the record collected over a quarter of a century, with the exception of the period October 1999 to March 2001, makes it the longest regional record of dust samples in Australia. 3887 filter papers have been collected along with the metrological records for the period when major dust events occurred.

This valuable time series provides the following results:

While dust event frequency and magnitude is linked to rainfall, land management practices also have a major impact on dust storm frequency and this is the subject of further work.