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Fine Particle Emission Potential from Loam Soils in a Semiarid Region

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Fugitive dust emission from agricultural soils is a concern in the U.S. Inland Pacific Northwest because emission of particles with an aerodynamic diameter ≤10 μm (PM10) and ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as air pollutants. The objective of this study was to characterize the PM10 and PM2.5 emission potential of soils in the region. Soil from the upper 3-cm layer of the profile was collected from five major soil types in southeastern Washington. Soil samples collected from the field were placed inside a wind tunnel to simultaneously measure PM10 and PM2.5 emissions at three wind speeds. Dispersed soil analysis indicated that the sand and silt content, respectively, ranged from 17 to 68% and 23 to 66% while nondispersed soil analysis revealed the PM10 and PM2.5 content averaged 3.7 and 1.2%, respectively, across the five soil types. Emissions of PM10 and PM2.5 were greatest for Warden sandy loam (coarse-silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Xeric Haplocambids) and lowest for Walla Walla silt loam (coarse-silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Typic Haploxerolls). During the 5 min wind tunnel test at the highest wind speed (18 m s−1), loss of sediment, PM10 and PM2.5 for the five soils ranged from 113 to 8039 g m−2, 0.4 to 11.0 g m−2, and 0.1 to 6.0 g m−2, respectively. Although the PM10/sediment loss ratio differed among soils, there was no difference in the PM2.5/sediment loss ratio across soils. Our results suggest that the emission potential varies for windblown soils found across the Inland Pacific Northwest.
Feng, Guanglong , Sharratt, Brenton , Wendling, Laura
Haplocambids , Haploxerolls , agricultural soils , dust emissions , loam soils , particulate emissions , sand , sand fraction , sandy loam soils , semiarid soils , semiarid zones , silt , silt fraction , silt loam soils , soil sampling , wind speed , wind tunnels , Washington
Includes references
Soil Science Society of America journal 2011 Nov-Dec, v. 75, no. 6
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.