Submitted to: Association of American Geographers
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Direct measurements of particulate matter concentration have been obtained at various times in major cities in the United States by state and federal regulatory agencies concerned with air pollution. The purpose of these monitoring programs has been to establish whether a city or region was in compliance with National Air Quality Standards. Data collected during these eprograms remains an untapped reservoir of potentially valuable information For example, in the semiarid Southern High Plains, elevated dust levels are almost always associated with regional-scale wind erosion events. Thus, measurements of particulate matter can provide an indirect measure of regional wind erosion activity. In this paper, we look at measurements of PM10 collected in Lubbock, Texas since 1987. Analysis reveals that the annual mean PM10 concentration has generally decreased over the past thirteen years. Since wind erosion is the primary source of particulate matter in the Lubbock area, one possible interpretation of this downward trend is that wind erosion activity has decreased in frequency and intensity in the Southern High Plains due to changing land-use patterns and improved conservation practices.