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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Pm10 and PM2.5 Dust Generation Potentials of Soils/sediments in the Southern Aral Sea Basin, Uzbekistan

Authors
item Singer, Arieh - HEBREW UNIV OF JERUSALEM
item Zobeck, Teddy
item Poberezsky, L - VODPROJECT, UZBEKISTAN
item Argaman, E - HEBREW UNIV OF JERUSALEM

Submitted to: International Conference on Aeolian Research
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 19, 2002
Publication Date: July 25, 2002
Citation: Singer, A., Zobeck, T.M., Poberezsky, L., Argaman, E. 2002. The pm10 and pm2.5 dust generation potentials of soils/sediments in the Southern Aral Sea Basin, Uzbekistan. International Conference on Aeolian Research. July 22-25, 2002. Lubbock, Texas. p. 343-346.

Interpretive Summary: Extensive drying of the Aral Sea in Central Asia has exposed large portions of the former sea bed. Enormous dust storms originate from the area and have disastrous ecological consequences. The dust constitutes a major threat to the health of the population. Since the dust contains large amounts of salts, dust deposition causes both water bodies and huge tracts of agricultural lands to become severely salty. The objective of this study was to determine which major land surfaces in the Southern Aral Sea Basin cause the wind blown dust in this region. Eight soil crusts and sediments from 7 sites, representative of these surfaces, were sampled and their major soil physical and chemical properties related to blowing dust were determined. The potential of the soil to create very fine blowing dust (called PM10 and PM2.5) was used to rate the dustiness of the soils. The dustiness was determined in the laboratory using a special device developed by the USDA. The experimental results indicated that the silty soil called the Takyr and Takyr-like soils, which occupy over 1 million ha in the Southern Aral Sea Basin, had the greatest potential for being the source for the severe dust storms of the area. Second to the Takyr soils, the mildly to strongly salty soils called Solonchaks and Solonchak-like soils, also with an extent of over 1 million ha, contributed highly salty dust.

Technical Abstract: Extensive desiccation of the Aral Sea in Central Asia has exposed large portions of the former sea bed. Enormous dust storms emanate from the area and have disastrous ecological consequences. The dust constitutes a major threat to the health of the population. Since the dust contains large amounts of salts, dust deposition causes severe salinization of both water bodies and huge tracts of agricultural lands, some of which are intensively cultivated. The objective of this study was to assess the contribution of the major soil/sediment surfaces in the Southern Aral Sea Basin to the dust generation potential of this region. Eight crusts and soils/sediments from 7 sites, representative of these surfaces, were sampled and their major characteristics (particle size distribution, organic carbon content, carbonate content, salt content, and composition) that are related to dust generation determined. The PM10 and PM2.5 dust generation potential of the materials was postulated as a general indicator of their dust generation capability, and was determined in the laboratory using the Lubbock Dust Generation, Analysis and Sampling System (LDGASS). The experimental results indicate that the Takyr and Takyr-like soils, that occupy over 1 million ha in the Southern Aral Sea Basin, constitute the surfaces with the highest potential for being the source for the severe dust storms of the area. Second to the Takyr soils, the Solonchaks and Solonchak-like soils, also with an extent of over 1 million ha, contribute highly saline dust. To these must be added a large, as yet unsurveyed, proportion of the approximately 4 million ha of exposed sea bed that exhibits Solonchak-like characteristics.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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