Measurement of Threshold Friction Velocities at Potential Dust Sources in Semi-arid Regions
AuthorKing, Matthew A.
AdvisorBetterton, Eric A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe threshold friction velocities of potential dust sources in the US Southwest were measured in the field using a Portable Wind Tunnel, which is based on the Desert Research Institute's Portable In-Situ Wind Erosion Laboratory (PI-SWERL). A mix of both disturbed and undisturbed surfaces were included in this study. It was found that disturbed surfaces, such as those at the Iron King Mine tailings site, which is part of the EPA's Superfund program and contains surface concentrations of arsenic and lead reaching as high as 0.5% (w/w), had lower threshold friction velocities (0.32 m s⁻¹ to 0.40 m s⁻¹) in comparison to those of undisturbed surfaces (0.48 to 0.61 m s⁻¹). Surface characteristics, such as particle size distribution, had effects on the threshold friction velocity (smaller grain sized distributions resulted in lower threshold friction velocities). Overall, the threshold friction velocities of disturbed surfaces were within the range of natural wind conditions, indicating that surfaces disturbed by human activity are more prone to causing windblown dust.
Degree ProgramGraduate College