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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348287

Research Project: Improving Air Quality, Soil Health and Nutrient Use Efficiency to Increase Northwest Agroecosystem Performance

Location: Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research

Title: Field and laboratory comparison of PM10 instruments in high winds

Author
item Sharratt, Brenton
item Pi, Huawei - Washington State University

Submitted to: Aeolian Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2018
Publication Date: 2/5/2018
Citation: Sharratt, B.S., Pi, H. 2018. Field and laboratory comparison of PM10 instruments in high winds. Aeolian Research. 32:42-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aeolia.2018.01.006.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aeolia.2018.01.006

Interpretive Summary: Past observations indicate that instruments capable of measuring concentrations of PM10, which is one of six US EPA criteria air pollutants, above eroding agriculture fields have different performance characteristics. We found significant differences among instruments in measuring PM10 concentrations in the field and wind tunnel. The High-Volume sampler and TEOM monitor measured higher concentrations than the E-sampler whereas the TEOM monitor measured higher PM10 concentrations than the High-Volume sampler. All instruments were sensitive to wind speed when measuring PM10 concentration inside the wind tunnel. Variations among instruments in measuring PM10 concentration, even under controlled environmental conditions, suggests there are risks associated with using multiple instrument types to measure PM10 concentration in the field or laboratory. Therefore, research scientists and regulatory agencies such as the US EPA must be judicious in comparing PM10 concentration from different instruments.

Technical Abstract: Instruments capable of measuring PM10 (particulate matter less than or equal to 10µm in aerodynamic diameter) concentrations may vary in performance as a result of different technologies utilized in measuring PM10. Therefore, the performance of five instruments capable of measuring PM10 concentrations above eroding soil surfaces was tested during high wind events at field sites in the Columbia Plateau and inside a wind tunnel. Comparisons among the Big Spring Number Eight (BSNE) sampler, DustTrak monitor, E-sampler, High-Volume sampler, and Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM) monitor were made at field sites during nine wind erosion events and inside a wind tunnel at two wind speeds (7 and 12 m s-1) and two ambient PM10 concentrations (2 and 50 mg m-3). Significant differences were found among instruments in PM10 concentration measured at heights of 1 to 3 m above eroding agricultural fields. PM10 concentration measured by the High-Volume sampler and TEOM monitor was higher than that measured by the E-sampler. PM10 concentrations, however, were similar for the High-Volume sampler and TEOM monitor as well as for the BSNE samplers and DustTrak monitors. Significant differences were also found among instruments in measuring PM10 concentration inside the wind tunnel. The TEOM monitor measured the highest PM10 concentration while the DustTrak monitor typically measured the lowest PM10 concentration as compared with other instruments. In addition, PM10 concentration appeared to lower for all instruments at a wind speed of 12 as compared with 7 m s-1 inside the wind tunnel. Differences in the performance of instruments in measuring PM10 concentration poses risks in using multiple instrument types to jointly measure concentration profiles in field or laboratory studies or even the same instrument type subject to different wind speeds.