University of California

Wind barriers offer short-term solution to fugitive dust


David A. Grantz
David L. Vaughn
Robert J. Farber
Bong Kim
Tony VanCuren
Rich Campbell

Authors Affiliations

D.A. Grantz is Plant Physiologist and Extension Air Quality Specialist; D.L. Vaughn is Staff Research Associate, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and Statewide Air Pollution Research Center, UC Riverside; R.J. Farber is Senior Research Scientist, Southern California Edison Company, Rosemead; B. Kim is Air Quality Specialist, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Diamond Bar; T. VanCuren is Air Pollution Research Specialist, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento; R. Campbell is District Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Lancaster.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 52(4):14-18. DOI:10.3733/ca.v052n04p14. July 1998.

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Wind-blown fugitive dust is a widespread problem in the arid west resulting from land disturbance or abandonment and increasingly limited water supplies. Soil-derived particles obstruct visibility, cause property damage and contribute to violations of health-based air quality standards for fine particles (PM-10). These dry lands are often difficult to revegetate, yet they may require immediate stabilization. We evaluated the effectiveness of three types of mechanical wind barriers, which can be Installed more rapidly and more reliably than revegetation, in suppressing dust emissions. Wind fences, furrows and scattered roughness elements, such as plastic cones, are shown to reduce fugitive dust emissions in areas of the Mojave Desert that resisted revegetation.

Further reading

Bilbo JD, Fryrear DW. Techniques for controlling fugitive emissions generated on cultivated land by the wind. Paper No. 95-MP12.01 presented at the 88th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the Air and Waste Management Association 1995. San Antonio, TX: June 1995.

Covitz CD, Hannigan MJ, van Loben Sels JW, Andrews R. Dust-related collisions, Interstate 5 Panoche Junction Overcrossing/Kamm Avenue — Nov. 29, 1991. Task Force Report to Gov. Pete Wilson 1992. p.160.

Gillette DA, Fryrear DW, Ley T, et al. Ratio of vertical flux of PM10 to total horizontal mass flux of airborne particles in wind erosion. Paper No. 95-TA38.02. 88th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the Air and Waste Management Association 1995. San Antonio, TX.: June 18–23.

Shao Y, Raupach MR, Findlater PA. Effect of saltation bombardment on the entrainment of dust by wind. J Geophys Res. 1993. 98(D7):12719-26. https://doi.org/10.1029/93JD00396

Sims CH. Desert storm/desert bloom: Antelope Valley wind erosion mitigation, Los Angeles County. USDA-SCS and County of Los Angeles Fire Department Report to Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors 1993. p.116.

Stetler LD, Saxton KE, Fryrear DW. Wind erosion and PM10 measurements from agricultural fields in Texas and Washington. Paper No. 94-FA145.02. 87th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the Air and Waste Management Association, Cincinnati, OH, June 1994 1994.

Stout JE, Fryrear DW. Performance of a windblown-particle sampler. Trans ASAE. 1989. 32(6):2041-5.

Wolfe SA, Nickling WG. The protective role of sparse vegetation in wind erosion. Progress in Physical Geography. 1993. 17(1):50-68. https://doi.org/10.1177/030913339301700104

Zeldin MD. Approaches for controlling windblown dust emissions in Southern California desert areas. Paper No. 94-FA145.01 presented at the 87th Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the Air and Waste Management Association. Cincinnati, OH. June 1994 1994.

Grantz D, Vaughn D, Farber R, Kim B, VanCuren T, Campbell R. 1998. Wind barriers offer short-term solution to fugitive dust. Hilgardia 52(4):14-18. DOI:10.3733/ca.v052n04p14
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