Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368117

Title: Dust source characterization on lordsburg playa in southwestern New Mexico

item Van Pelt, Robert - Scott
item Tatarko, John
item GILL, THOMAS - University Of Texas - El Paso
item CHANG, CHUNPING - Hebei University
item EIBEDINGIL, IYASU - University Of Texas - El Paso
item MENDEZ, MARCOS - University Of Texas - El Paso

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/8/2019
Publication Date: 12/12/2019
Citation: Van Pelt, R.S., Tatarko, J., Gill, T.E., Chang, C., Eibedingil, I.G., Mendez, M.P. 2019. Dust source characterization on lordsburg playa in southwestern New Mexico. Meeting Abstract. Presentation. San Francisco, CA on December 9-13, 2019.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Interstate Highway 10 crosses the Lordsburg Playa, an ephemeral lakebed, just west of Lordsburg, NM. Over the last 53 years, at least 55 persons have lost their lives due to traffic accidents related to dust impaired visibility. In May of 2014, seven persons were killed and six died in June 2017 during single events. We examined the center of the lakebed, the delta of Animas Creek, and shorelines to determine the most probable source of the entrained dust and tested the surfaces with a Portable In-Situ Wind ERosion Laboratory (PI-SWERL) to determine the threshold friction velocities (TFV) and dust (PM10) emissivities of the surfaces. We found a wide range of TFV from 0.29 m s-1 in the delta to 0.81 m s-1 in the center of the lakebed. The emissivities ranged from 765 µg m-2 s-1 in the center of the lakebed to 297,200 µg m-2 s-1 in the delta. Values of the TFV and emissivities at sites along the shorelines were intermediate, but trended closer to the values observed in the delta. Recent evidence from aerial photography Indicates that dams and other earthworks along the western shoreline have ruptured, releasing large amounts of trapped sediments onto the lakebed. It is probable that all these sites contribute to the dust hazard, but each should be managed separately to mitigate the hazard.