Updated information to that provided in Rangelands 2008 - Taking the pulse
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2011
About the report
The level of dust in the air is a useful indicator of wind erosion rate, although the amount of dust observed is influenced by several factors (actual weather conditions, soil type, vegetation type and ground cover etc). In Australia, a Dust Storm Index (DSI) is calculated from visibility records made by Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) observers. The DSI provides a measure of the frequency and intensity of wind erosion activity at continental scale. It is a composite measure of the contributions of: local dust events, moderate dust storms and severe dust storms using weightings for each event type, based upon dust concentrations inferred from reduced visibility during each of these event types.
ACRIS reported spatial patterns and trend in the Dust Storm Index between 1992 and 2005 in Rangelands 2008 - Taking the pulse (Bastin et al. 2008). This reporting was based on information provided to ACRIS in McTainsh et al. (2007). Grant McTainsh and colleagues at Griffith University have updated their reporting for ACRIS (see McTainsh et al. 2011). Highlights from that report are summarised here. Readers should access the complete report (i.e. McTainsh et al. 2011) for further explanation and more comprehensive information about recent dust activity.