Rainfall Simulation on Disturbed Lands Treated with Dust Suppressants: Hydrologic Impacts

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The hydrologic changes in surfaces treated with dust suppressants is investigated in this study. Dust suppressants were applied to disturbed land surfaces which are a major source of fine particulate matter in the air. The application of dust suppressants affects the runoff characteristics of these lands as well as the water quality of the runoff. In this paper, the hydrologic changes are evaluated by using a rainfall simulator and performing field experiments on plots treated with dust suppressants. The rainfall simulation system is able to provide a uniform distribution over rainfall over a 2.4 meter x 2.4 meter plot. Results of the study indicate that the majority of dust suppressants create a surface that is less permeable compared to the natural surface. This leads to higher runoff volumes. The largest increase in runoff was fives times higher than the control plot. The runoff volume, timing of initial runoff, and rate of runoff varied for most plots; however, the majority of the plots had runoff that occurred earlier in the experiment than compared to the control plot. The results of this study indicate that treating surfaces with dust suppressants could create larger downstream channels in urban areas.


Hydrology; Rainfall; Rainfall simulators; Runoff


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Construction Engineering and Management | Environmental Sciences | Hydraulic Engineering | Structural Engineering


Conference held: Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel, Portland, Oregon, United States, September 8-13, 2002


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