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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #283897

Title: Carbon enrichment in windblown sediment on the Columbia Plateau

item Sharratt, Brenton
item GRAVES, LAUREL - Washington State University
item PRESSLEY, SHELLEY - Washington State University

Submitted to: American Association for Aerosol Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sediment flux into the atmosphere from agricultural soils during high wind events can impact resource management and the environment. For example, nutrients in the sediment represent a loss of fertilizer from soils that must be replenished for sustained crop production. In addition, sediments that are laden with nutrients and transported downwind can degrade air and water quality. Although flux of sediment has been quantified during high wind events in the Columbia Plateau, no information is available that characterizes nutrients in windblown sediment. Windblown sediment and soil samples were collected from agricultural fields in eastern Washington from 1999 to 2006. Sediment was collected using creep and Big Spring Number Eight (BSNE) samplers; the BSNE samplers were installed at various heights above eroding fields. Carbon content of the soil and collected sediment was determined using a LECO TruSpec analyzer. Enrichment, or a ratio of C in the windblown sediment to soil of greater than one, was observed in about half of the years. For nearly all high wind events, C content of sediment transported by creep was greater than sediment transported by saltation or suspension. This study suggests that wind erosion can result in loss of C from agricultural soils.