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© ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO, July 11th, 2008

Mapping and monitoring SDS sources

Mapping sources of sand and dust storms is important in determining where SDS may occur, and who might be affected by SDS events. (See also Module 3 on risk and vulnerability assessment, and Module 2 on observation, monitoring, forecasting & early warning). Mapping and monitoring potential sources are the first steps in defining the location of SDS source control and management efforts (see Module 4 on source control and management). As SDS events can change over time, due to natural or anthropogenic factors, a continuous monitoring is key to effective management.

Review the following sections to identify which mapping or monitoring approach best meets your requirements.

SDS source mapping from data on previous SDS occurrences

This approach uses past occurrence of SDS events and similar data sources. This method is particularly useful for synoptic understanding of medium to large source areas.
Details on this approach can be found in SDS Compendium chapters 8.5.1 and 8.5.2, which include a comparison of advantages and disadvantages of this approach.

Mapping using surface conditions

Mapping SDS sources can be done by considering the nature of the earth surface (e.g., topsoil texture, moisture, temperature, land cover) and how changes of these surfaces can contribute to SDS occurrence. This method is particularly useful for identifying smaller sources (e.g., small seasonally dry lakes, fields, construction sites).
SDS Compendium chapters 8.5.3 and 8.5.4 provide background to this approach. Detailed instructions on SDS source mapping based on surface conditions is provided in chapter 8.6.

Monitoring of SDS sources

Monitoring SDS sources relies primarily on data from SDS sources areas or remote sensing, often linked to weather forecasting and to SDS modelling.
SDS Compendium chapter 9.3 provides information on how to monitor SDS source areas. 


UNCCD has developed a Web-GIS tool for mapping SDS sources using occurrence data.