Effect of wind speed and relative humidity on atmospheric dust concentrations in semi-arid climates

Janae Csavina, Jason Field, Omar Félix, Alba Y. Corral-Avitia, Avelino E Saez, Eric Betterton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atmospheric particulate have deleterious impacts on human health. Predicting dust and aerosol emission and transport would be helpful to reduce harmful impacts but, despite numerous studies, prediction of dust events and contaminant transport in dust remains challenging. In this work, we show that relative humidity and wind speed are both determinants in atmospheric dust concentration. Observations of atmospheric dust concentrations in Green Valley, AZ, USA, and Juárez, Chihuahua, México, show that PM10 concentrations are not directly correlated with wind speed or relative humidity separately. However, selecting the data for high wind speeds (>4m/s at 10m elevation), a definite trend is observed between dust concentration and relative humidity: dust concentration increases with relative humidity, reaching a maximum around 25% and it subsequently decreases with relative humidity. Models for dust storm forecasting may be improved by utilizing atmospheric humidity and wind speed as main drivers for dust generation and transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume487
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014

Fingerprint

Dust
relative humidity
Atmospheric humidity
wind velocity
dust
climate
effect
dust storm
pollutant transport
Aerosols
aerosol
valley
Health
Impurities
prediction

Keywords

  • Dust emission
  • Relative humidity
  • Semi-arid
  • Wind speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering

Cite this

Effect of wind speed and relative humidity on atmospheric dust concentrations in semi-arid climates. / Csavina, Janae; Field, Jason; Félix, Omar; Corral-Avitia, Alba Y.; Saez, Avelino E; Betterton, Eric.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 487, No. 1, 15.07.2014, p. 82-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Csavina, Janae ; Field, Jason ; Félix, Omar ; Corral-Avitia, Alba Y. ; Saez, Avelino E ; Betterton, Eric. / Effect of wind speed and relative humidity on atmospheric dust concentrations in semi-arid climates. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2014 ; Vol. 487, No. 1. pp. 82-90.
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