skip to main content


Title: Regional sources control dust in the mountain critical zone of the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains, USA
Abstract

Mountain environments are profoundly impacted by the deposition of mineral dust, yet the degree to which this material is far-traveled or intra-regional is typically unclear. This distinction is fundamental to model future changes in mountain geoecosystems resulting from climatic or anthropogenic forcing in dust source regions. We address this question with a network of 17 passive dust samplers installed in primarily mountain locations in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho between October, 2020 and October 2021. For each collector, the dust deposition rate was calculated, and the physical and chemical properties of the dust were constrained. Results were combined with backward trajectory modeling to identify the geologic characteristics of the area over which air passed most frequently in route to each collector (the ‘hot spot’). Dust properties differ significantly between collectors, hot spots for many collectors are spatially discrete, and the dominant geologies in the hot spots corresponding to each collector vary considerably. These results support the hypothesis that the majority of the dust deposited in the areas we studied is sourced from arid lowlands in the surrounding region.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
2012082 2012067
NSF-PAR ID:
10466051
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
IOP Publishing
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Volume:
18
Issue:
10
ISSN:
1748-9326
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Article No. 104034
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. This dataset contains weights of windblown dust collected by BSNE collectors at long-term observation plots that are part of the Jornada Basin LTER Cross-Scale Interaction Study (CSIS) located at the Jornada Experimental Range. There are 15 experimental blocks (or sites) in this study. Within each block, there are 4 plots with different experimental treatments: 1 control, 1 with mesquite herbicide applied, 1 with connectivity modifiers (Conmods) installed, and 1 with Conmods AND mesquite herbicide applied. The intent of Conmods is to decrease gap size between perennial vegetation. The plots are 8 x 8 meters and have an 8 x 8 meter buffer zone on both the upwind and downwind sides of the plot. There are two BSNE (aeolian dust collector) stands per experimental plot positioned at the edge of the upwind and downwind 8m x 8m buffers. Each stand has 3 collectors positioned at heights of 10 cm, 30 cm, and 50 cm, and all collector openings face the prevailing wind direction. Upwind BSNEs collected the amount of dust entering the plot, and the downwind BSNEs collected the amount of dust moving off the plot. These collectors estimate the effectiveness of the plot surface in obstructing wind blown dust. This study is ongoing with data collected quarterly each year. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Electrospinning is considered a powerful method for the production of fibers in the nanoscale size. Small pore size results in poor cell infiltration, cell migration inhibition into scaffold pores and low oxygen diffusion. Electrospun polycaprolactone/gelatin/nano‐hydroxyapatite (PCL/Gel/nHA) scaffolds were deposited into two types of fiber collectors (novel rotating disc and plate) to study fiber morphology, chemical, mechanical, hydrophilic, and biodegradation properties between each other. The proliferation and differentiation of MG‐63 cells into the bone phenotype were determined using MTT method, alizarin red staining and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. The rates for disc rotation were 50 and 100 rpm. The pore size measurement results indicated that the fibers produced by the disc rotation collector with speed rate 50 rpm have larger pores as compared to fibers produced by disc rotation at 100 rpm and flat plate collectors. A randomly structure with controlled pore size (38.65 ±0.33 μm) and lower fiber density, as compared to fibers collected by disc rotation with speed rate 100 rpm and flat plate collectors, was obtained. Fibers collected on the rotating disc with speed rate 50 rpm, were more hydrophilic due to larger pore size and therefore, faster infiltration of water into the scaffold and the rate of degradation was higher. These results demonstrate that PCL/Gel/nHA scaffolds made through a rotating disc collector at 50 rpm are more feasible to be used in bone tissue engineering applications due to appropriate pore size and increased adhesion and proliferation of cells, ALP activity and mineral deposits. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater 107B: 933–950, 2019.

     
    more » « less
  3. The influence of mineral dust deposition on soil formation in the mountain critical zone was evaluated at six sites in southwestern North America. Passive samplers collected dust for 2 years, and representative soil and rock were gathered in the vicinity of each dust sampler. All materials (dust, soil, and rock) were analyzed to determine their mineralogy (with X-ray diffraction), geochemistry (with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)), and radiogenic isotope fingerprint (87Sr/86Sr and εNd). In addition, the grain size distribution of dust and soil samples was determined with laser scattering, and standard soil fertility analysis was conducted on the soil samples. Results reveal that minerals present in the dust but absent in the local bedrock are detectable in the soil. Similarly, the geochemistry and isotopic fingerprint of soil samples are more similar to dust than to local bedrock. End-member mixing models evaluating soil as a mixture of dust and rock suggest that the fine fractions of the sampled soils are dominated by dust deposition, with dust contents approaching 100 %. Dust content is somewhat higher in soils compared to bedrock types more resistant to weathering. These results emphasize the dominant control that mineral dust deposition can exert on pedogenesis in the mountain critical zone.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    This study investigates the mesoscale dynamics involved in the 8–11 October 2008 unseasonably strong African dust episode, during which dust was transported to the Iberian Peninsula (IP). We employ observational datasets and a high‐resolution Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry simulations. The analysis shows that during 0900–1200 UTC 9 October, a mesoscale convective system developed over the Atlas Mountains and resulted in a southwestward propagating convective cold pool outflow on the southern foothills of the Anti‐Atlas, which lifted dust from the source region. Between 1200 and 1800 UTC 9 October, new moist convection was enhanced over the Atlas Mountains due to intensifying confluence among a heat low, moist southwesterly Atlantic sea‐breeze front, and northeasterly flow associated with the convective cold pool near western Algeria. This new moist convection intensified the strength of the convective cold pool outflow and haboob, both of which continued propagating southwestward. At 1200 UTC 10 October, the low‐pressure system migrated poleward on the southern slopes of the Anti‐Atlas Mountains in association with a mountain‐plains solenoidal circulation due to the daytime differential heating between the southern slopes of the Anti‐Atlas and nearby atmosphere. The deepening low‐pressure and strengthening Atlantic sea‐breeze redirected an equatorward advancing dust plume into the poleward direction. The dust plume ultimately crossed the Saharan Atlas Mountains on 11 October and finally impacted the IP.

     
    more » « less
  5. Garbage collectors provide memory safety, an important step toward program correctness. However, correctness of the collector itself can be challenging to establish, given both the style in which such systems are written and the weakly-ordered memory accesses of modern hardware. One way to maximize benefits is to use a framework in which effort can be focused on the correctness of small, modular critical components from which various collectors may be composed. Full proof of correctness is likely impractical, so we propose to gain a degree of confidence in collector correctness by applying model checking to critical kernels within a garbage collection framework. We further envisage a model framework, paralleling the framework nature of the collector, in hope that it will be easy to create new models for new collectors. We describe here a prototype model structure, and present results of model checking both stop-the-world and snapshot-at-the-beginning concurrent marking. We found useful regularities of model structure, and that models could be checked within possible time and space budgets on capable servers. This suggests that collectors built in a modular style might be model checked, and further that it may be worthwhile to develop a model checking framework with a domain-specific language from which to generate those models. 
    more » « less