- Abstract The effect of buildings on the dry deposition of dust particles was investigated in Be'er-Sheva, a desert city with about 140,000 inhabitants in southern Israel, and at two reference points in the surrounding rural area. The mineral and chemical composition of dust sampled at all sites was similar, reflecting the composition of the local loess soil, its likely origin. However, dust deposited in the traps set up in the vicinity of buildings in the city was significantly coarser than the dust which accumulated in similar traps at exposed sites in the countryside. The amount of dust (by weight) in the urban dust traps was on an average more than twice the amount deposited in the rural area. The differences in grain-size distribution and quantity of dust are attributed to the properties of the urban wind field and to various effects of human activity in the city.