Deposition and removal of fugitive dust in the arid southwestern United States: Measurements and model results

TitleDeposition and removal of fugitive dust in the arid southwestern United States: Measurements and model results
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsEtyemezian V., Ahonen S., Nikolic D., Gillies J., Kuhns H., Gillette D., Veranth J.
JournalJournal of the Air & Waste Management Association
Date Published2004
Keywordsaeolian, boundary-layer, aeolian, emissions, aeolian, PM10 emissions, aeolian, vertical dispersion
AbstractThis work was motivated by the need to better reconcile emission factors for fugitive dust with the amount of geologic material found on ambient filter samples. The deposition of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 10 mum (PM10), generated by travel over an unpaved road, over the first 100 m of transport downwind of the road was examined at Ft. Bliss, near El Paso, TX. The field conditions, typical for warm days in the and southwestern United States, represented sparsely vegetated terrain under neutral to unstable atmospheric conditions. Emission fluxes of PM10 dust were obtained from towers downwind of the unpaved road at 7, 50, and 100 m. The horizontal flux measurements at the 7 m and 100 m towers indicated that PM10 deposition to the vegetation and ground was too small to measure. The data indicated, with 95% confidence, that the loss of PM10 between the source of emission at the unpaved road, represented by the 7 m tower, and a point 100 m downwind was less than 9.5%. A Gaussian model was used to simulate the plume. Values of the vertical standard deviation sigma(z) and the deposition velocity V, were similar to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ISC3 model. For the field conditions, the model predicted that removal of PM10 unpaved road dust by deposition over the distance between the point of emission and 100 m downwind would be less than 5%. However, the model results also indicated that particles larger than 10 mum (aerodynamic diameter) would deposit more appreciably. The model was consistent with changes observed in size distributions between 7 m and 100 m downwind, which were measured with optical particle counters. The Gaussian model predictions were also compared with another study conducted over rough terrain and stable atmospheric conditions. Under such conditions, measured PM10 removal rates over 95 m of downwind transport were reported to be between 86% and 89%, whereas the Gaussian model predicted only a 30% removal. One explanation for the large discrepancy between measurements and model results was the possibility that under the conditions of the study, the dust plume was comparable in vertical extent to,the roughness elements, thereby violating one of the model assumptions. Results of the field study reported here and the previous work over rough terrain bound the extent of particle deposition expected to occur under most unpaved road emission scenarios.
Reprint EditionNot in File (added 6/29/2005)