Dust In The Environment

Particulate matter (PM) can affect important cultural artifacts, such as has been observed after China’s Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses were exposed to the air. Our Atmospheric Science researchers are conducting sampling and experiments to determine the underlying sources and to find methods to best preserve the quality of the museum artifacts. Our researchers are studying fugitive dust emission by military vehicles and their impacts on visibility impairment affecting vehicle performance. Research in military fugitive dust emissions identify factors that affect dust emission and help find methods to reduce dust emission and mitigate the contributions of PM by testing and training activities to regional air quality for U.S. installations. Our researchers are also designing a mobile aerosol monitoring system to help understand the relationships between troop exposure to desert dust and other air pollutants, and respiratory and other health conditions.

Atmospheric Science faculty have also had continued support to characterize and quantify dust emissions created by military testing and training activities. Research in this area has focused on developing understanding of the physics of the emission processes for various activities (e.g., driving of wheeled and tracked vehicle) and how the emissions scale as a function of activity and the controls that the surface exerts on the release of dust. Our faculty also are working on understanding the physics of the dust system (emissions, transport, and deposition), the role the surface properties (e.g., roughness, crusting, soil properties) play in affecting the emissions process and finally the role of mineral dusts in the atmosphere related to radiative transfer processes.

Please select a research project for more information.