Dust devil (picture is slightly contrast-stretched) showing a dust devil in the Danikil Depression in Ethiopia, in February 2011, with camels in foreground. Image by R Lorenz.

This Manuscript is a preprint of a paper in press at Boundary Layer Meteorology, describing a survey of dust devil vortex activity using three fixed meteorological stations on Eldorado Playa in June/July 2012

The paper, and the datafile (below) should be cited as follows Lorenz, R. D. and P. Lanagan, 2014. A Barometric Survey of Dust Devil Vortices on a Desert Playa, Boundary Layer Meteorology, submitted.

The following links Classified.txt are summary files of suspected dust devil vortex passages identified by visual inspection of the pressure record. The site locations are described in the paper, and summary statistics of the data are presented.




The following links PXXX.zip are to zipped archives of raw pressure data recorded by three Gulf Coast Data Concepts B1100 pressure loggers installed in June/July 2012 at Eldorado Playa near Boulder City, Nevada. Details are given in the paper above. Data are acquired at 2Hz. These datafiles are suitable, e.g. for attempting automatic dust devil detection. Note that the timestamps in the datafiles are Eastern, 3 hours ahead of local time. After the header, the datafile contains comma-delimited columns of time (s) and Pressure in Pa, with temperature in Celsius*10 (i.e. 325 is 32.5 degC) in alternate rows.




The following file


is data from a nearby (~7km) meteorological station at Boulder City. This provides a useful context (winds, cloud, etc.) for the dust devil statistics

Previous papers

Journal of Meteorology, 2004 a short paper showing a thermal image (first in the literature?) of a dust devil, and noting that solar absorption by airborne dust may drive the energy budget of a dust devil

Journal of Meteorology, 2005 a short paper reviewing the NTSB air acccident database, noting over 100 aircraft incidents (several fatal) attributed to dust devils

Icarus, 2009 a short paper showing visual detections follow N~50/A where A is survey area, and that Gusev dust devils seen by the Spirit rover follow a -2 power law

Icarus, 2011 a critical review of dust devil diameters from optical surveys on Mars and Earth, noting the general inadequacy of data to discriminate between e.g. exponential and power law populations

Planetary and Space Science, 2012 paper noting that pressure drops attributed to dust devil vortices on Mars may follow a power law distribution, and that terrestrial data arent good enough to compare (yet)

Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data systems, 2012 description of new field data loggers used to study dust devils, with particular note of temperature compensation and power supply.

Planetary and Space Science, 2013 demonstration of the mapping of cycloidal dust devil migration paths to asymmetric and multi-dip pressure histories. Multiple dips do not require multiple cores!

Icarus, 2013 correlation of dust devil lifetime to diameter (T~d^0.66) can be used to relate snapshot orbital images to ground surveys, and to correct surveys for advection of devils into survey area. Also notes aspect ratio statistics and detection efficiency of imaging from orbit

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