This paper describes the first use of inter-particle force measurement in reworked aerosols to better understand the mechanics of dust deflation and its consequent ecological ramifications. Dust is likely to carry hydrocarbons and micro-organisms including human pathogens and cultured microbes, thereby is a threat to plants, animals and human. Present day global aerosol emissions are substantially greater than in 1850, however the projected influx rates are highly disputable. This uncertainty, in part, has roots in the lack of understanding of deflation mechanisms. A growing body of literature shows that whether carbon emission continue to increase, plant-transpiration drops and soil water retention enhances, allowing more greenery to grow and less dust to flux. On the other hand, a small but important body of geochemistry literature shows that increasing emission and global temperature leads to extreme climates, decalcification of surface soils containing soluble carbonate polymorphs and hence a greater chance of deflation. The consistency of loosely-packed reworked silt loose provides background data against which the resistance of dust’s bonding components (carbonates and water) can be compared. The use of macro-scale phenomenological approaches to measure dust consistency is trivial. Instead, consistency can be measured in terms of inter-particle stress state. This paper describes a semi-empirical parametrisation of the inter-particle cohesion forces in terms of the balance of contact-level forces at the instant of particle motion. We put forward the hypothesis that the loss of Ca2+-based pedogenic salts is responsible for much of the dust influx and surficial drying pays a less significant role.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 24 Feb 2016|
- Inter-particle forces
ASJC Scopus subject areas