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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Airborne Dust and Sediment Measurements in Agricultural Fields

Authors
item Zobeck, Teddy
item Stout, John
item Gill, Thomas
item Fryrear, Donald

Submitted to: Proc First Inter Conf on Air Pollution from Agricultural Operations
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 7, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion produces airborne dust that fouls machinery, reduces crop productivity, fills ditches, reduces visibility, and affects human and animal health. In an effort to better understand and measure the amount and nature of airborne dust, we have developed a relatively inexpensive, mobile, field sampling system. We measure soil and site variables thought important to wind erosion before and after dust storms. During dust storms we measure initial movement of particles on soil surface using electronic sensors and collect airborne samples of dust. We have also developed a standard procedure and device to create and measure dust from a soil sample collected in the field. In this paper, we describe the soil, site, and airborne dust sampling techniques and methods used to analyze the data.

Technical Abstract: Spatial and temporal variations of soil conditions across agricultural fields can produce field-scale variations of soil particle entrainment, wind erosion, dust transport and deposition. We describe a field evaluation and sampling system designed to measure airborne dust/sediment and other wind erosion factors. Soil surface conditions are monitored before and after wind erosion events. Hourly averages of sediment flux are measured at five to eight elevations at several locations in the field. Particle impact frequency is monitored near sediment flux sampling points. Dust measurements are made using a Minivol air sampler located at various heights on a 10m tower. Important meteorological data are obtained from the same 10m tower and a portable 2m tower. We also describe an instrument for laboratory measurement of dust produced from field soils.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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