Hydrologic impacts of disturbed lands treated with dust suppressants

Document Type



This study presents research on changes in hydrologic characteristics of disturbed land surfaces that have been treated with dust suppressants. Disturbed land surfaces, such as construction sites and unpaved roads, are sources of fine particulate matter. The application of dust suppressants affects the runoff characteristics as well as the water quality of the runoff. The changes in runoff characteristics were investigated in the field using a rainfall simulator on plots treated with 11 different dust suppressants. The rainfall simulation system was able to provide a uniform distribution of rainfall over a 2.42.4 m (approximately) plot at relatively low rainfall intensities (21 mm/h). Results of the study indicate changes in runoff rates and volume, and the timing of runoff initiation. The majority of the plots had higher runoff volumes and an earlier time of runoff initiation as compared to the control plot. The total suspended solids in the runoff were reduced for the majority of the plots. Extrapolation of the results to the Las Vegas Valley watershed indicates that the use of dust suppressants on large areas could significantly impact the amount of runoff.


Coefficients; Disturbed land surfaces; Dust control; Dust suppressants; Rainfall; Runoff; Surface water; Water quality


Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies


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