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How Far Does Dust Travel During a Wind Erosion Event?
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Dust that becomes suspended as wind erodes a field can become deposited on nearby vegetation and have detrimental effects on plants and soil and water quality in the are.  This study was designed to determine how dust is deposited in regions that are from 0 to approximately 600 feet from an eroding field once a wind erosion event occurs.  We measured the levels of dust in suspension from a small field containing sandy lam soil after 8 separate dust storm events.  An average of 34% of the total dust that was suspended in the air from this field was deposited on plants within 600 feet of the eroding field.  Actual amounts of deposited dust ranged from 18.0 to 147.4 kg per square meter.  approximately 30% of the suspended dust was deposited on vegetation within approximately 150 feet from the eroding field but only 12 to 15% was deposited within the initial 30 feet.  These results suggest that the typical 30 ft-wide buffer strips of vegetation that are currently being used to try to trap the suspended dust leaving a field will not capture much of this dust. 

For more information contact:
Dr. Lawrence Hagen (retired) at:
or Dr. John Tatarko at:

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