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Dust Storms in Kazakhstan: Frequency and Division


  • State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
  • Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Department of Energoecology, Almaty 050040, Kazakhstan
  • Kazgeokosmos, Almaty 050020, Kazakhstan


Dust/sand storm is a common phenomenon in arid and semi-arid regions of Kazakhstan, especially in its southern parts, where areas are covered by a great variety of deserts and are a powerful source of mineral and salt aerosols. We considered the long-term meteorological data and satellite images on dust storms recurrence and their regional division in Kazakhstan. On the basis of generalization and analyses of the numerous cartographic materials, meteorological observations and satellite images, we identified seats of the powerful sources of dust/sand/salt storms. We found areas in Kazakhstan with the highest frequency of dust storms. These are Pre-Aral Karakum and Aralkum deserts; Kyzylkum and Moiynkum deserts; Ryn sands (northern Caspian plain); and southern Pre-Balkhash deserts. The most active source of dust storms is located in sandy deserts or in areas, which have suffered from human activity. Dust storms have a great negative impact on soil conditions and they are particularly dangerous for the environment.


Dust Storms, Soil Texture, Deserts, Kazakhstan, Central Asia.

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