Submitted to: Fifth International Conference of Desert Development
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The Southern High Plains of the United States has a long history of dust storms. The worst dust storms occurred in the 1930's during the infamous "Dust Bowl". Since then, improved farming techniques and other improvements in land management have helped reduce airborne dust levels. However, it is hard to say exactly how much the situation has improved without accurate measurements of dust levels. If we are to judge properly the effectivenss of changing land use practices, we must establish an accurate and long term record of past and present dust levels. The Lubbock Lake Ambient Dust Project was initiated to begin such a record. This paper describes the field site, explains measurement techniques, and reports preliminary findings following four months of data collection at Lubbock Lake Landmark State Historical Park in Lubbock, Texas.
Technical Abstract: Every year the inhabitants of the Southern High Plains of West Texas endure numerous dust storms, primarily occurring during the winter and early spring months. Dust sources include windswept agricultural fields, construction sites, overly-grazed rangeland, dry lake beds, and unpaved roadways. On March 23, 1996, scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Wind Erosion Research Unit in Lubbock, Texas began measuring airborne dust concentrations at Lubbock Lake Landmark State Historical Park. A 2-m tower was placed within the park to measure wind speed, wind direction, and dust concentration. We intend to show the relationship between dust levels and meteorological factors such as wind speed, direction, and relative humidity. We will also track dust levels for many years to establish normal background levels, typical peak values, and general trends in dust levels.