Mid-troposphere transport of Middle-East dust over the Arabian Sea and its effect on rainwater composition and sensitive ecosystems over India

The importance of mineral dust and aerosols in the transfer of bio-essential elements to terrestrial and
marine ecosystems far removed from the source region is well known. Aerosol concentrations measured
at the surface over the west coast of India during the SW monsoon period (June to September) are
usually very low as pristine maritime air from the Southern Indian Ocean blows over this region.
However, we find very high levels of mineral dust and dust derived nutrients in rainwater collected
during the SW monsoon period. We show that the dry, warm and dusty Red Sea Wind and Shamal
Wind from the Middle-East override the moist oceanic Low-Level Jet (Findlater Jet) of the SW monsoon
and transport large quantities of dust at heights between 2 km and 5 km over the Indian Peninsula.

- V. Ramaswamy , P. M. Muraleedharan & C. Prakash Babu