Estimation of Pm-10 from vacant lands in the Las Vegas valley

Joe Alvin Haun, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Las Vegas Valley is a serious nonattainment area for suspended particulate matter less than 10 microns in aerodynamic diameter (PM-10). The question is whether the amount of fine particulates less than 10 {dollar}\mu{dollar}m in the soil can be used to predict the amount of PM-10 entering the air stream during a wind erosion event. Over one hundred sixty soil samples were analyzed for soil particle size distribution, and a portable wind tunnel was constructed and operated in the field on fifty-two sites; The study sites covered seven of the nine major US Soil Conservation Service soil groups in the Las Vegas Valley. The Glencarb, and Land and Spring soils had the highest amount of ten micron soil particle counts. The same soil groups had the highest PM-10 emitting sites. The Data from the soil and wind tunnel analyses were used to estimate relationships between the percentage of 10 micron particles in the soil and the amount of PM-10 entraining into the wind tunnel at different wind velocities; There appeared to be relationships between the wind velocities and the amount of PM-10 emitted by each soil group, there were essentially no overall correlations between amount of 10 micron particles in the soil and the amount entering the airstream; The average flux rate at 35-40 mph was g/m{dollar}\sp2{dollar}/hour for Las Vegas Valley soils.