The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to prairie lands in the 1930s. The phenomenon was caused by severe drought combined with farming methods that did not include crop rotation or other techniques such as soil terracing and wind-breaking trees to prevent wind erosion.
During the drought of the 1930s, without natural anchors to keep the soil in place, it dried, turned to dust, and blew away with the prevailing winds. At times, the clouds blackened the sky, reaching all the way to East Coast cities such as New York and Washington, D.C….more
In this March 25, 1935 file photo, children cover their faces during a swirling dust storm while pumping water in Springfield, Colo. The Dust Bowl was manmade, born of bad farming techniques across millions of acres in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas. Now, even as bad as the drought is in some of those same states, soil conservation practices developed in the aftermath of the Dust Bowl have kept the nightmarish storms from recurring. (AP Photo, File)
Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma. Arthur Rothstein
Son of farmer in dust bowl area in Cimarron County, Oklahoma. Photo by Arthur Rothstein
Title: Four families, three of them related with fifteen children, from the Dust Bowl in Texas in an overnight roadside camp near Calipatria, California
Creator(s): Lange, Dorothea, photographer
See the rest of these astonishing pictures here on The Denver Post website