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Fugitive Dust Emissions from Off-road Vehicle Maneuvers on Military Training Lands

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131598778,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Jeremy C. Meeks, Larry E. Wagner, Ronaldo G. Maghirang, John Tatarko
Keywords:   Wind erosion, soil, air quality, particulate matter

Abstract. Off-road vehicle training can contribute to air quality degradation because of increased wind erosion as a result of soil disruption during high wind events; however, limited information exists regarding the impacts of off-road vehicle maneuvering on wind erosion potential of soils. This study was conducted to determine the effects of soil texture and intensity of training with off-road vehicles on fugitive dust emission potential due to wind erosion at military training installations. Multi-pass military vehicle trafficking experiments involving wheeled and tracked vehicles were conducted at three military training facilities with different vegetative conditions and soil textures (i.e., Fort Riley, KS; Fort Benning, GA; and Yakima Training Center, WA). The top 6 cm of soil was collected with minimum disturbance into trays and tested in a laboratory wind tunnel for dust emission potential. In wind tunnel testing, the amount of emitted dust was measured using a GRIMM aerosol spectrometer. The dust emission potential was significantly influenced by soil texture, vehicle type, and number of passes. For the light-wheeled vehicle, total dust emissions increased from 66 mg m-2 for undisturbed soil to 304 mg m-2 (357%) and 643 mg m-2 (868%) for 10 and 50 passes, respectively. For the tracked vehicle, an average increase in total dust emission of 569% was observed between undisturbed conditions and 1 pass, with no significant increase in emission potential beyond 1 pass. For the heavy-wheeled vehicle, emissions increased from 75 mg m-2 for undisturbed soil to 1,652 mg m-2 (1,369%) and 4,023 mg m-2 (5,276%) for 10 and 20 passes, respectively. Soil texture also played an important role in dust emission potential. For all treatment effects, there was a 1,369% difference in emissions between silty clay loam soil and loamy sand soil.

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