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Research Project: Measurement and Modeling of Fugitive Dust from Off-Road DoD Activities


2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The central goal of the proposed project is to utilize a combination of soil science and meteorological and traditional air quality sampling methods to accurately measure soil and surface characteristics, identify those characteristics significant to fugitive PM emissions and wind erosion and develop lidar instrumentation to measure fence-line concentrations from large area emission sources produced by military activities on DoD installations.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The objectives will be achieved through a comprehensive set of tasks involving field, laboratory and plot studies, that are designed to obtain specific data required to: 1) adequately characterize changes in soil and surface conditions due to off-road military vehicle activities and determine the sites’ changes in susceptibility to wind erosion; and 2) measure incoming and outgoing PM at the installation fence-line.

3. Progress Report:
This research project is to address Department of Defense concerns about air quality impacts both on and off their installations due to off-road military trafficking during training exercises. Tasks accomplished relate to the analysis of data collected at Ft. Benning, Georgia and Yakima Training Center, Washington. Specifically, determining; a) aggregate size distribution (ASD) through rotary sieving the samples; b) dry aggregate stability of samples by crushing them using a soil aggregate crushing energy meter (SACEM); and c) the maximum density possible from the samples through Proctor density laboratory procedures. In addition, a new data acquisition system was developed for wind tunnel tests on soil tray data obtained from Ft. Riley, Ft. Benning and Yakima Training Center. The “no abrader” tests (simply blowing wind across the tray surfaces) were conducted in a laboratory wind tunnel for the Ft. Benning and Yakima data. The “abrader” tests (sand is applied upstream in the wind tunnel, which impacts or abrades the tray surfaces) portion of the laboratory wind tunnel tests were conducted for all three sites: Ft. Riley, Ft. Benning and Yakima. These tests will determine the amount of loose erodible material, especially the smaller suspension size components, on the soil surface under various repeated trafficking conditions. The smaller suspension size material is directly attributable to air quality issues. Changes in bulk density and moisture content due to military trafficking and recovery at Ft. Benning and Yakima have been analyzed and manuscripts are being developed reporting that work. The manuscript describing the bulk density and moisture content changes due to military trafficking at Ft. Riley, along with the changes in vegetation during the recovery process at Ft. Riley between perennial and annual plants has been published. In addition, Jeremy Meeks, graduate student in the KSU BAE Department finished his thesis on the wind erosion tray data collected at all three sites. A paper and poster presentation has been prepared covering the Ft. Benning vegetation and bulk density results for the ASABE international meeting in Kansas City, MO.

4. Accomplishments