An anomalous atmospheric dust deposition event over Central Europe, 24 March 2007, and fingerprinting of the SE Ukrainian source


Authors: Hladil J, Strnad L, Šálek M, Jankovská V, Šimandl P, Schwarz J, Smolík J, Lisá L, Koptíková L, Rohovec J, Böhmová V, Langrová A, Kociánová M, Melichar R, Adamovič J

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 83, issue 2; pages: 175 - 206; Received 25 November 2007; Accepted in revised form 25 February 2008;

Keywords: dust, atmospheric deposition event, sedimentology, rheology, grain-size modality, pattern formation, geochemistry, lead isotopes, pollen and spores, eolian flux, climate change, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Europe, Recent/Holocene,

full text (PDF, 6.05 MB)

Export to RIS



An anomalous event of Ukrainian quartz-dominated dust deposited in the Czech Republic and adjacent countries on 24 March 2007 was studied with special emphasis on sedimentology, mineralogy and geochemistry. The dust deposition combined a typical eolian depositional mode with one mediated by dirty rain or drizzle. The main stage of sediment deposition was short (several tens of minutes) and synchronous with rapidly increased concentration of particles smaller than 10 µm in the atmosphere above ground. The polydisperse and multimodal sediment consisted predominantly of angular to subrounded quartz particles, of which 80-90 wt.% were silt sized (4-63 µm). A small amount of sand grains up to 0.5 mm in size was regularly observed (?10 wt.%) and was higher than that of particles smaller than 4 µm. This relatively coarse material was transported by atmospheric flows over distances of 1400 to 2000 km. The deposited silt film was fenestrally arranged and showed various reticulate and patchy patterns of several sizes. The intensity of deposition in the main deposition areas corresponded to 2.3 g/m2 of particulate solids on average. The interpreted depositional processes are based on direct observation and dust microphysics. Besides the preferentially entrained and delivered quartz, the sediment contains also perthitic feldspar, chlorite and chloritoids, and notably low amounts of mica, clay minerals and carbonate. The element content does not contradict the supposed source based on meteorological observations, i.e., from surface argillaceous and sandy soils east of Kherson, Ukraine. Particularly minor and trace element distributions are almost identical and show a nearly perfect match, closely similar to those of standards for the upper crust (not sediments). Total Fe concentrations in the sediment are about 2-3 wt.%, i.e., slightly less than those for the upper continental crust on average, yet with a large proportion of iron still bound in mineral inclusions in quartz and silicates. Smooth REE patterns correspond to the most common multi-cycle eolian material and are typical for the assumed source area. Lead isotope signatures combine a natural lithic imprint and anthropogenic contamination by petrol combustion, thereby giving a somewhat different trend compared to African sources. Palynological analysis enabled tracking of the trajectory of the dust-flow but also identified typical markers, such as ragweed pollen, from the source area.


Andersen, K.K., Bigler, M., Clausen, H.B., Dahl-Jensen, D., Johnsen, S.J., Rasmussen, S.O., Seierstad, I., Steffensen, J.P., Svensson, A., Vinther, B.M., Davies, S.M., Muscheler, R., Parrenin, F. & Röthlisberger, R. 2007. A 60 000 year Greenland stratigraphic ice core chronology. Climate of the Past Discussions 3, 1235–1260.View article

Asahi Net 2007. Munsell color chart. Digitally certified and powered. (in Japanese).

Bezusko, L.G., Bezusko, A.G. & Mosyakin, S.L. 2004. Contemporary state of the palynological research of soil surface layers in the steppe zone of Ukraine. 17 pp. Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev (in Ukrainian).

Birmili, W., Schepanski, K., Ansmann, A., Spindler, G., Tegen, I.,Wehner, B., Nowak, A., Reimer, E.,Mattis, I., Müller, K., Brüggemann, E.,Gnauk, T.,Herrmann, H., Wiedensohler, A., Althausen, D., Schladitz, A., Tuch, T. & Löschau, G. 2008. A case of extreme particulate matter concentrations over Central Europe caused by dust emitted over the southern Ukraine. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 8, 997–1016.View article

Biryukov, S. 1995. The time dependence of dust adhesion on the glass surface. Journal of Aerosol Science 26(6), 1024–1024.View article

Bout-Roumazeilles, V., Combourieu Nebout, N., Peyron, O., Cortijo, E., Landais, A. & Masson-Delmotte, V. 2007. Connection between South Mediterranean climate and North African atmospheric circulation during the last 50,000 yr BP North Atlantic cold events. Quaternary Science Reviews 26, 3197–3215.View article

Bruckmann, P., Niemann, K., Wurzler, S., Engel, I., Hoogerbrugge, R., Garus, G. & Olschewski, A. 2008 in press. High PM10 levels covering large parts of Europe caused by long range transport. Gefahrstoffe – Reinhaltung der Luft (Air Quality Control, Springer VDI Verlag).

Cecil, C.B. 2004. Eolian dust and the origin of sedimentary chert. 15 pp. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1098, Reston, Va.

Chin, M., Diehl, T., Ginoux, P. & Malm,W. 2007. Intercontinental transport of pollution and dust aerosols: implications for regional air quality. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 7, 5501–5517.View article

Cho, G.C., Dodds, J. & Santamarina, J.C. 2006. Particle shape effects on packing density, stiffness, and strength: natural and crushed sands. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering 132(5), 591–602.View article

Color charts 2007. An online database of manufacturers standard colors. Powered by CBN Systems technology. Digitally certified and powered.

Erel, Y., Dayan, U., Rabi, R., Rudich, Y. & Stein, M. 2006. Trans boundary transport of pollutants by atmospheric mineral dust. Environmental Science & Technology 40, 2996–3005.View article

Erpul, G., Gabriels, D. & Norton, L.D. 2005. Sand detachment by wind-driven raindrops. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 30, 241–250.View article

Ettler, V., Mihaljevič, M. & Komárek, M. 2004. ICP-MS measurements of lead isotopic ratios in soils heavily contaminated by lead smelting: tracing the degree of pollution. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 378, 311–317.View article

Ettler, V., Vaněk, A., Mihaljevič, M. & Bezdička, P. 2005. Contrasting lead speciation in forest and tilled soils heavily polluted by lead metallurgy. Chemosphere 58(10), 1449–1459.View article

Fay, B., Glaab, H., Jacobsen, I. & Schrodin, R. 1994. Radioactive dispersion modeling and emergency response system at the German Weather Service. In Grynning, S.-V. & Millan, M.M. (eds) Air Pollution Modeling and Its Application X (Plenum Press, New York), 395–403.View article

Floyd, P.A., Shail, R., Leveridge, B.E. & Franke,W. 1991. Geochemistry and provenance of Rhenohercynian sandstones: implications for tectonic environment discrimination. In Morton, A.C., Todd, S.P. & Haughton, P.D.W. (eds) Developments in Sedimentary Provenance Studies. Geological Society of London Special Publications 57, 173–188.View article

Gao, Y., Anderson, J.R. & Hua, X. 2007. Dust characteristics over the North Pacific observed through shipboard measurements during the ACE-Asia experiment. Atmospheric Environment 41(36), 7907–7922.View article

Goudie, A.S. & Middleton, N.J. 2001. Saharan dust storms: nature and consequences. Earth-Science Reviews 56(1–4), 179–204.View article

Grousset, F., Ginoux, P., Bory, A. & Biscaye, P. 2003. Case study of a Chinese dust plume reaching the French Alps. Geophysical Research Letters 30(6),1277.View article

Hladil, J. & Beroušek, P. 1993. Oblique raindrop impacts. Věstník Českého geologického ústavu (Bulletin of Geosciences) 68(3), 23–32.

Hladil, J., Geršl, M., Strnad, L., Frána, J., Langrová, A. & Spišiak, J. 2006. Stratigraphic variation of complex impurities in platform limestones and possible significance of atmospheric dust: a study with emphasis on gamma-ray spectrometry and magnetic susceptibility outcrop logging (Eifelian–Frasnian, Moravia, Czech Republic). International Journal of Earth Sciences 95(4), 703–723.View article

Hladil, J., Koptíková, L., Růžička, M. & Kulaviak, L. 2007. Experimental effects of surfactants on the production of stromatactis-shaped cavities in artificial carbonate sediments. Bulletin of Geosciences 82(1), 37–50.View article

Jehlík, V., Hejný, S., Kropáč, Z., Lhotská, M., Kopecký, K., Slavík, B. & Svobodová, Z. 1998. Alien expansive weeds of the Czech and Slovak Republics. 506 pp. Publ. House Academia, Prague (in Czech).

Jickells, T. 1995. Atmospheric inputs of metals and nutrients to the oceans: their magnitude and effects. Marine Chemistry 48(3–4), 199–214.View article

Jickells, T.D. 1999. The inputs of dust derived elements to the Sargasso Sea; a synthesis. Marine Chemistry 68(1), 5–14.View article

Kerkman, J., Lutz, H.J., König, M., Prieto, J., Pylkko, P., Roesli, H.P., Rosenfeld, D., Schmetz, J., Zwatz-Meise, V., Schipper, J., Georgie, C. & Santurette, P. 2005. MSG interpretation guide.

Koltay, E., Borbély-Kiss, I., Kertész, Z., Kiss, A.Z. & Szabó, G. 2006. Assignment of Saharan dust sources to episodes in Hungarian atmosphere by PIXE and TOMS observations. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 267(2), 449–459.View article

Kondziolka, M. & Maňák, R. 2007. CR under the dust layer. Instant Astronomical News IAN 691,

Kukla, G.J. 1970. Correlations between loesses and deep-sea sediments. Geologiska Foreningen i Stockholm Forhandlingar 92, 148–180.View article

Kukla, G.J. 1977. Pleistocene land-sea correlations I. Earth Science Review 13, 307–374.View article

Krumbein, W.C. 1941. Measurement and geological significance of shape and roundness of sedimentary particles. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 11(2), 64–72.View article

Lensky, I.M. & Rosenfeld, D. 2006. CAPSAT – clouds, aerosols, and precipitation satellite tool. Geophysical Research Abstracts 8, 05088.

Lensky, I.M. & Rosenfeld, D. 2008 in press. Clouds-aerosol-precipitation satellite analysis tool (CAPSAT). Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Lim, J.&Matsumoto, E. 2006. Bimodal grain-size distribution of aeolian quartz in a maar of Cheju Island, Korea, during the last 6500 years: Its flux variation and controlling factor. Geophysical Research Letters 33, L21816.View article

Littmann, T. & Steinrücke, J. 1989. Atmospheric boundary conditions of recent Saharan dust influx into Central Europe. GeoJournal 18(4), 399–406.View article

Mahaney, W.C. 2002. Atlas of sand grain surface textures and applications. 237 pp. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York.

McDonough, W.F. & Sun, S.S. 1995. The composition of the Earth. Chemical Geology 120, 223–253.View article

McLennan, S.M. 2001. Relationships between the trace element compositions of sedimentary rocks and the upper continental crust. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 2(2000GC000109), 24 pp.View article

McLennan, S.M. & Murray, R.W. 1999. Geochemistry of sediments, 282–292. In Marshall, C.P. & Fairbridge, R.W. (eds) Encyclopedia of Geochemistry. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.

McLennan, S.M. & Taylor, S.R. 1999. Earth’s continental crust, 145–150. In Marshall, C.P. & Fairbridge, R.W. (eds) Encyclopedia of Geochemistry. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.

Mihaljevič, M., Zuna, M., Ettler, V., Šebek, O., Strnad, L. & Goliáš, V. 2006. Lead fluxes, isotopic and concentration profiles in a peat deposit near a lead smelter (Příbram, Czech Republic). Science of the Total Environment 372, 334–344.View article

Mims, F.M. 2003. Solar aureoles caused by dust, smoke, and haze. Applied Optics 42, 492–496.View article

Mosyakin, S.L. & Fedoronchuk, M.M. 1999. Vascular plants of Ukraine. A nomenclatural checklist. 345 pp. M.G. Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev (in Ukrainian).

Mukai, H., Machida, T., Tanaka, A., Vera, Y.P. & Uematsu, M. 2001. Lead isotope ratios in the urban air of eastern and central Russia. Atmospheric Environment 35, 2783–2793.View article

Munsell Color 2000. Munsell soil color chart. 22 pp. Baltimore.

Nikishin, A.M., Ziegler, P.A., Panov, D.I., Nazarevich, B.P., Brunet, M.-F., Stephenson, R.A., Bolotov, S.N., Korotaev, M.V. & Tikhomirov, P.L. 2001. Mesozoic and Cainozoic evolution of the Scythian Platform-Black Sea-Caucasus domain, 295–346. In Ziegler, P.A., Cavazza, W., Robertson, A.H.F. & Crasquin-Soleau, S. (eds) Peri-Tethys Memoir 6: Peri-Tethyan rift/wrench basins and passive margins. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle Paris 186.

Nozaki, Y. 2001. Rare earth elements and their isotopes, 2354–2366. In Steele, J.S., Turekian, K.K. & Thorpe, S.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Ocean sciences. Academic Press, London.

Panov, B.S., Dudik, A.M., Shevchenko, O.A. & Matlak, E.S. 1999. On pollution of the biosphere in industrial areas: the example of the Donets coal basin. International Journal of Coal Geology 40(2–3), 199–210.View article

Papayannis, A., Amiridis, V., Bösenberg, J., Chaikovski, A., De Tomasi, F., Freudenthaler, V., Grigorov, I., Mattis, I., Mitev, V., Munoz, C., Pappalardo, G., Nickovic, S., Pisani, G., Puchalski, S., Rizi, V., Trickl, T. & Vaughan, G. 2005. First systematic observations of Saharan dust over Europe (2000–2003): Statistical analysis and results. Geophysical Research Abstracts 7(04016), 5 pp.

Pashkevich, G.O. 1970. Pollen-analytical research of the dust brought by “black storm” (in Russian). Ukrainskii Botanicheskii Zhurnal 27(4), 530–531.

Piotrowska, K. & Weryszko-Chmielewska, E. 2006. Ambrosia pollen in the air of Lublin, Poland. Aerobiologia 22(2), 149–156.View article

Prins, M.A., Vriend, M., Nugteren, G., Vandenberghe, J., Lu, H., Zheng, H.&Weltje, G.J. 2007. Late Quaternary aeolian dust input variability on the Chinese Loess Plateau: inferences from unmixing of loess grain-size records. Quaternary Science Reviews 26, 230–242.View article

Prospero, J.M., Ginoux, P., Torres, O., Nicholson, S. & Gill, T. 2002. Environmental characterization of global sources of atmospheric soil dust identified with the NIMBUS7 total ozone mapping spectrometer (TOMS) absorbing aerosol product. Reviews of Geophysics 40(1), 1002, 31 pp.View article

Qin, X., Cai, B. & Liu, T. 2005. Loess record of the aerodynamic environment in the east Asia monsoon area since 60,000 years before present. Journal of Geophysical Research 110, B01204.View article

Reid, E.A., Reid, J.S., Meier, M.M., Dunlap, M.R., Cliff, S.S., Broumas, A., Perry, K. & Maring, H. 2003. Characterization of African dust transported to Puerto Rico by individual particle and size segregated bulk analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research 108 (D19, PRD-7), 1–22.View article

Reheis, M.C., Goodmacher, J.C., Harden, J.W., McFadden, L.D., Rockwell, T.K., Shroba, R.R., Sowers, J.M. & Taylor, E.M. 1995. Quaternary soils and dust deposition in southern Nevada and California. Geological Society of America Bulletin 107(9), 1003–1022.View article

Roesli, H.-P., Kerkmann, J. & Rosenfeld, D. 2006. Harmonising SEVIRI RGB composites for operational forecasting. The 2006 EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference, Session 5, Training,, P.48, s5, 1–8.

Rybníček, O., Novotná, B., Rybníčková, E. & Rybníček, K. 2000. Ragweed in the Czech Republic. Aerobiologia 16(2), 287–290.View article

Saar, M., Gudzhinskas, Z., Plompuu, T., Linno, E., Minkiené, Z. & Motiekaityté, V. 2000. Ragweed plants and airborne pollen in the Baltic states. Aerobiologia 16(1), 101–106.View article

Sazhin, A.N. & Vasiliev, U.I. 1999. Dynamics of atmosphere and wind energy during dust storms. Proceedings of the International Symposium to 50th Anniversary of the United States Department of Agriculture “Wind Erosion”, proceedings/sazhin.pdf, A35, 1–6.

Smalley, I.J., Kumar, R., O’Hara Dhand, K., Jefferson, I.F. & Evans, R.D. 2005. The formation of silt material for terrestrial sediments: particularly loess and dust. Sedimentary Geology 179, 321–328.View article

Smeck, N.E., Bigham, J.M., Guertal, W.F. & Hall, G.F. 2002. Spatial distribution of lepidocrocite in a soil hydrosequence. Clay Minerals 37(4), 687–697.View article

Sodemann, H., Palmer, A.S., Schwierz, C., Schwikowski, M. & Wernli, H. 2006. The transport history of two Saharan dust events archived in an Alpine ice core. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 6, 667–688.View article

Soreghan, G.S. & Soreghan, M.J. 2002. Atmospheric dust and algal dominance in the Late Paleozoic: A hypothesis. Journal of Sedimentary Research 72(4), 457–461.View article

Stępalska, D., Szczepanek, K. & Myszkowska, D. 2002. Variation in Ambrosia pollen concentration in Southern and Central Poland in 1982–1999. Aerobiologia 18(1), 13–22.View article

Strnad, L. & Mihaljevič, M. 2005. Sedimentary provenance of Mid-Devonian clastic sediments in the Teplá-Barrandian Unit (Bohemian Massif): U-Pb and Pb-Pb geochronology of detrital zircons by laser ablation ICP-MS. Mineralogy and Petrology 84(1–2), 47–68.View article

Strnad, L., Mihaljevič, M. & Šebek, O. 2005. Laser ablation and solution ICP-MS determination of REE in USGS BIR-1G, BHVO-2G and BCR-2G glass reference materials. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 29(3), 303–314.View article

Sun, D., Bloemendal, J., Rea, D.K., An, Z., Vandenberghe, J., Lu, H., Su, R. & Liu, T. 2004. Bimodal grain-size distribution of Chinese loess, and its palaeoclimatic implications. Catena 55(3), 325–340.View article

Sun, D., Bloemendal, J., Rea, D.K., Vandenberghe, J., Jiang, F., An, Z. & Su, R. 2002. Grain-size distribution function of polymodal sediments in hydraulic and aeolian environments, and numerical partitioning of the sedimentary components. Sedimentary Geology 152(3), 263–277.View article

Tanner, W.F. 1958. The zig-zag nature of type i and type iv curves. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 28, 372– 375.

Taylor, S.R. 1992. Solar system evolution: A new perspective. 307 pp. Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, S.R. & McLennan, S.M. 1985. The continental crust: Its composition and evolution. 312 pp. Blackwell.

Teutsch, N., Erel, Y., Halicz, L. & Banin, A. 2001. Distribution of natural and anthropogenic lead in Mediterranean soils. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 65, 2853–2864.View article

Vincent, S.J.,Morton, A.C., Carter, A., Gibbs, S. & Barabadze, T.G. 2007. Oligocene uplift of the Western Greater Caucasus: an effect of initial Arabia–Eurasia collision. Terra Nova 19, 160–166.View article

Vollmer, M. 2005. Effects of absorbing particles on coronas and glories. Applied Optics 44, 5658–5666.View article

Yamaguchi, K.E., Johnson, C.M., Beard, B.L. & Ohmoto, H. 2005. Biogeochemical cycling of iron in the Archean–Paleoproterozoic Earth: Constraints from iron isotope variations in sedimentary rocks from the Kaapvaal and Pilbara Cratons. Chemical Geology 218, 135–169.View article

Yizhaq, H. 2005. A mathematical model for aeolian megaripples on Mars. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 357(1), 57–63.View article

Yoshinaga, S. 1998. Accumulation rate of tropospheric dust in and around the Japan Islands during the last Quaternary. Quaternary Research (Japan) 37, 205–210 (in Japanese with English abstract).

Yudovich, Y.E. & Ketris, M.P. 2005. Mercury in coal, a review, part 1, geochemistry. International Journal of Coal Geology 62(3), 107–134.View article

Zender, C.S., Miller, R.L. & Tegen, I. 2004. Quantifying mineral dust mass budgets: Terminology, constraints, and current estimates. Eos 85(48), 509–512.View article

Zhang, G.L., Yang, F.G., Zhao, W.J., Zhao, Y.G., Yang, J.L. & Gong, Z.T. 2007. Historical change of soil Pb content and Pb isotope signatures of the cultural layers in urban Nanjing. Catena 69(1), 51–56.View article