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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Columbia Plateau Wind Erosion and Air Quality Research Plan

Author
item Saxton, Keith

Submitted to: Washington State University College of Agriculture and Home Economics
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion produces large clouds of fine particulate dust, PM-10, which becomes entrained in the regional air mass and moves downwind into urban regions where it significantly degrades breathable air quality. The process of how to control this wind erosion and particulate emissions is not well understood. A large regional study has been developed and implemented in eastern Washington state to study this environmental and soil conservation problem. This plan involves scientists of several disciplines from both the USDA and local universities. The five-year project was initiated in 1993.

Technical Abstract: A research plan was devised to define the wind erosion hazards and PM-10 emissions from agricultural fields in the Columbia Plateau of eastern Washington, southeast Oregon and the Idaho Panhandle. This plan, encompassing eight broad objectives each with multiple tasks, includes characterizing the topography, soils, vegetation and wind fields for 136,000 unit areas representing the 50,000 sq. mi. study region to provide predictions of wind erosion and PM-10 emissions on each area. Field measurements of simultaneous wind erosion and PM-10 emissions are being conducted. A wind transport and dispersion model is being developed. More than 400 agronomic plots are being tested for dryland conservation control strategies.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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