DOI link for Thar Desert
Thar Desert book
Wind erosion is a severe land degradation process in the Indian Thar Desert, mostly lying in western Rajasthan. During severe wind erosion events or dust storms, a large amount of surface soil is eroded. Minute particle fractions of these eroded soils, which are also known as dust, create several problems in the region. Loss of top fertile soils from agricultural fields through dust storm events makes the soil very poor to sustain plant growth. Deposition of eroded soils on roads and railway tracks makes transportation difficult. The soils are even deposited in water bodies, for example, irrigation canals and surface water reservoirs, reducing the water storage capacity. Nutrient-rich eroded soil, when deposited in large water bodies, disturbs the aquatic ecosystem balance. Minute dust particles or particulate matter which remain suspended in the atmosphere for a long time are health hazards to desert dwellers. Suspended dust particles in the atmosphere generate aerosols which affect the regional climate through altering the radiative fluxes. Regional transport of suspended dust particles from the Thar Desert to the Indo-Gangetic Plain creates a dust haze and affects the local weather. Therefore, dust storms occurring in the Thar Desert create hazards not only in the source region but also in surrounding regions through interregional dust transport.