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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #291228

Title: Dust emissions of organic soils observed in the field and laboratory

item Zobeck, Teddy
item BADDOCK, MATTHEW - University Of Virginia
item GUO, ZHONGLING - Beijing Normal University
item Van Pelt, Robert - Scott
item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica
item Tatarko, John

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2012
Publication Date: 2/4/2012
Citation: Zobeck, T.M., Baddock, M., Guo, Z., Van Pelt, R.S., Acosta Martinez, V., Tatarko, J. 2012. Dust emissions of organic soils observed in the field and laboratory. Soil Survey and Land Resources Workshop. February 2-4, 2012. College Station, TX.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: According to the U.S. Soil Taxonomy, Histosols (also known as organic soils) are soils that are dominated by organic matter (>20% organic matter) in half or more of the upper 80 cm. These soils, when intensively cropped, are subject to wind erosion resulting in loss in crop productivity and degradation of soil, air, and water quality. Estimating wind erosion on Histosols has been determined by USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service as a critical need for the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) model. WEPS has been developed to simulate wind erosion on agricultural land in the US, including soils with organic soil material surfaces. However, additional field measurements are needed to calibrate and validate estimates of wind erosion of organic soils using WEPS. In this study, we used a field portable wind tunnel to generate suspended sediment (dust) from agricultural surfaces for soils with a range of organic contents. The soils were tilled and rolled to provide a consolidated, friable surface. Dust emissions and saltation were measured using an isokinetic vertical slot sampler aspirated by a regulated suction source. Suspended dust was collected on filters of the dust slot sampler and sampled at a frequency of once every six seconds in the suction duct using a GRIMM© optical particle size analyzer. In addition, bulk samples of airborne dust were collected using a sampler specifically designed to collect larger dust samples. The larger dust samples were analyzed for physical, chemical, and microbiological properties. In addition, bulk samples of the soils were tested in a laboratory wind tunnel similar to the field wind tunnel and a laboratory dust generator to compare field and laboratory results. For the field wind tunnel study, there were no differences between the highest and lowest organic content soils in terms of their steady state emission rate under an added abrader flux, but the soil with the mid-range of organic matter had less emission by one third. In the laboratory wind tunnel, samples with the same ratio of erodible to non-erodible aggregates as the field soils were abraded and dust emissions were observed with the same sampling system as used in the field wind tunnel. In the dust generator, 5 gm samples < 8 mm diameter of each organic soil were rotated in a 50 cm long tube and the dust generated was observed with the