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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Carbonaceous Materials in Soil-Derived Dusts

Authors
item Van Pelt, Robert
item Zobeck, Teddy

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion causes over 6.8 billion tons of soil loss on non-federal cultivated, pasture, and range land annually in the United States. In the Great Plains alone, about 5 million acres are moderately to severely damaged by wind erosion each year. In addition to soil loss from valuable agronomic systems and fragile natural ecosystems, wind erosion is a significant source of fine dust that represents the most active portion of the soil for plant growth. When this fine dust blows off fields it often carries carbon of various forms. This carbonaceous portion of soils material that is lost due to wind erosion is the most chemically active portion of the soil and perhaps the most important. Soil-derived carbon-rich material exists in many organic and inorganic forms in soils including but not limited to living organisms, remains of organisms or chemicals that they create in various stages of decomposition including relatively stable forms such as humus, sorbed man-made chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and incidental contaminants, charcoal, and carbonate minerals. In this chapter we will explore the processes of how dusts is moved as well as the forms, sources, transformations, and fate of soil-derived carbonaceous material in atmospheric dust.

Technical Abstract: Wind erosion causes 6.1 billion metric tons of soil loss on non-federal cultivated, pasture, and range land annually in the United States. Wind erosion can produce soil loss from valuable agronomic systems and fragile natural ecosystems my have great economic impact. In addition to soil loss from valuable agronomic systems and fragile natural ecosystems, wind erosion is a significant source of fine dust that represents the most active portion of the soil for plant growth. When this fine dust blows off fields it often carries carbon of various forms. This carbonaceous portion of soils material that is lost due to wind erosion is the most chemically active portion of the soil and perhaps the most important. A large body of literature deals with carbonaceous aerosols of anthropogenic and other non-soil related sources such as industry, combustion, volatile organic materials released from vegetation, etc., and natural geological emissions. .In this chapter we will explore the processes of entrainment and transport as well as the forms, sources, transformations, and fate of soil-derived carbonaceous material in atmospheric particulates. The discussion includes structured, soluble and amorphous organic carbon and inorganic carbonates, including elemental carbon and charcoal, carbonate minerals.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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