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Geosciences 2018, 8(8), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8080284

Measurement and Modeling Air Quality Impacts of Dust Emissions from Unpaved Roads in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas

1
Instituto de Investigación en Gestión de Riesgos y Cambio Climático, Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas 29039, Mexico
2
USDA-ARS Rangeland Resources and Systems Research Unit, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanics of Erosion: Process Response to Change)
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Abstract

Dust emissions from unpaved roads are one of the main pollutants affecting air quality around the world. As part of initial air quality studies in Tuxtla Gutiérrez (TGZ), Chiapas, Mexico, urban aeolian emission events from unpaved roads and simple meteorological inputs were measured in February 2014 at two different sites located within the city to characterize emissions for representative road conditions and to produce Industrial Source Complex (ISC3) model inputs. Emissions of particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter less than 10 µm (PM10) were determined for eight wind erosion events. PM10 concentrations were measured downwind from sites using a Minivol sampler during February and March 2014. Three high PM10 concentration scenarios, associated with unstable conditions generated by cold fronts (CF) were selected to simulate dust plume dispersion to identify impacted areas. Results show that unpaved roads represent a potential source of dust that affect air quality of urban regions; in this study generating emissions ≥ 1.92 × 10−3 g·m−2·s−1 when winds ≥6 m·s−1 were present. Air pollution events that exceed the Mexico national standard for 24-h average PM10 concentration (≥75 µg·m−3) were observed, impacting different areas in the city, representing a risk to human health. This demonstrates the influence of CF over southern Mexico, generating high PM10 concentrations in urban regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: wind erosion; dust particles; cold fronts; PM10 wind erosion; dust particles; cold fronts; PM10
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Díaz-Nigenda, E.; Tatarko, J.; Morales-Iglesias, H.; Hernández Méndez, Z.; Vázquez Morales, W.; Alatorre-Ibargüengoitia, M.A. Measurement and Modeling Air Quality Impacts of Dust Emissions from Unpaved Roads in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. Geosciences 2018, 8, 284.

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