Brazilian rainforest need to be fertilized by dust, more than half of which is supplied by a valley in northern Chad — Bodele Valley. The scientists are amazed by these unique features of the valley that might be responsible for making it such suitable dust provider, an international research team headed by Dr. Ilan Koren of the Institute’s Environmental Sciences and Energy Research Department informed.
Combining various satellite-based data, Dr. Koren and him colleagues, have broken the decade-long idea that the Amazon rainforest’s existence depends on a minerals-supply that are washed off by rain from the soil in the Sahara, blown by dust across the Atlantic.
They for the first time, now, managed to obtain quantitative information — with the help of satellite-based data — on the weight of this dust. The shape and geographic features of the Bodele valley makes it such an important dust source.
The enormous basalt mountain ridges, flanked on both sides of the valley, create a cone-shaped crater with a narrow opening in the northeast. Winds ‘draining’ into the valley focus on this funnel-like opening to create a sort of large wind tunnel.
Eventually, gusts of surface wind accelerating and focusing in the tunnel lift the dust from the ground and blow it toward the ocean. This allows the Bodele valley to export the vast dust amount making a life-sustaining contribution to the Amazon rainforest.