Special Issue "Dust Events in the Environment"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Domenico M. Doronzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Earth Sciences ‘‘Jaume Almera’’—CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: environment; particulate matter; fluid dynamics; dust particles; flow-structure interaction; sedimentation; volcanology; geophysics
Dr. Ali M Al-Dousari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Environmental and Life Sciences Research Center, P.O. Box: 24885 Safat 13109, Kuwait
Interests: Aeolian sedimentology; dust; dust phenomena; dust storm; dust and sand storm trajectories

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to preparing and submitting an original contribution on the following topic: “Dust in the Environment”. This Special Issue we are preparing will bring together scientific contributions dedicated to current studies on natural or urban/industrial dust particles, aerosol effects, dust storms, etc., from the modelling/experimental/laboratory/monitoring viewpoints. The goal is that of updating the state-of-the-art on the interaction between dust and the environment (also intended as cities), particularly in cases of extreme events like dust storms, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions, with an eye on sustainable development and future generations. The Special Issue will consider and update the existing literature by integrating different investigation approaches (from modelling to observation). Please do not hesitate to contact us for any additional information on this Special Issue. Many thanks in advance, and best regards.

Dr. Domenico M. Doronzo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • natural dust
  • urban/industrial dust
  • aerosol
  • volcanic ash
  • environment
  • particle transport
  • particle accumulation
  • flow-structure interaction
  • air quality

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Preface to Dust Events in the Environment
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030628 - 24 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The special volume entitled ‘‘Dust Events in the Environment’’ updates the state of the art and perspectives focused on the interactions between natural and urban events of dust with the environment, keeping an eye to the associated impacts and to sustainable development. The [...] Read more.
The special volume entitled ‘‘Dust Events in the Environment’’ updates the state of the art and perspectives focused on the interactions between natural and urban events of dust with the environment, keeping an eye to the associated impacts and to sustainable development. The volume updates previous studies on dust as the topic is timely and future discussions are necessary to further investigate such events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Relationships between Urban Structures and Air Pollution in Korea
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020476 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Urban structures facilitate human activities and interactions but are also a main source of air pollutants; hence, investigating the relationship between urban structures and air pollution is crucial. The lack of an acceptable general model poses significant challenges to investigations on the underlying [...] Read more.
Urban structures facilitate human activities and interactions but are also a main source of air pollutants; hence, investigating the relationship between urban structures and air pollution is crucial. The lack of an acceptable general model poses significant challenges to investigations on the underlying mechanisms, and this gap fuels our motivation to analyze the relationships between urban structures and the emissions of four air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and two types of particulate matter, in Korea. We first conduct exploratory data analysis to detect the global and local spatial dependencies of air pollutants and apply Bayesian spatial regression models to examine the spatial relationship between each air pollutant and urban structure covariates. In particular, we use population, commercial area, industrial area, park area, road length, total land surface, and gross regional domestic product per person as spatial covariates of interest. Except for park area and road length, most covariates have significant positive relationships with air pollutants ranging from 0 to 1, which indicates that urbanization does not result in a one-to-one negative influence on air pollution. Findings suggest that the government should consider the degree of urban structures and air pollutants by region to achieve sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Economic Impact and Risk Assessment of Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) on the Oil and Gas Industry in Kuwait
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010200 - 03 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
There is a lack of published research on the economic effect and the risk associated with sand and dust storms (SDS) worldwide. The objectives of this study are to estimate the economic impact of SDS on the oil and gas industry in Kuwait, [...] Read more.
There is a lack of published research on the economic effect and the risk associated with sand and dust storms (SDS) worldwide. The objectives of this study are to estimate the economic impact of SDS on the oil and gas industry in Kuwait, to estimate a risk index for each loss, and to recommend a sustainable system for the mitigation of the damaging effects and economic losses of infrastructures. Hot spots of wind erosion, wind corridors, and dust frequency and severity formed the basis to locate the most susceptible oil and gas fields and operations. Ten sectors with potential loss vulnerabilities were evaluated: exploration, drilling, production, gas, marine, soil remediation, project management, water handling, maintenance, and research and development. Sand encroachment, although not a sector per se, was also considered. The results indicate that sand, and to lesser extent dust, are damaging and costly to the oil and gas infrastructure of Kuwait, with an economic cost estimation of US$9.36 million, a total of 5159 nonproductive lost hours, and 347,310 m3 of annual sand removal. A risk assessment identified three sectors with the highest risk indices (RI): drilling (RI = 25), project management (RI = 20), and maintenance (RI = 16). Sand encroachment also constituted a high risk (RI = 25). Mitigation of sand storms using a hybrid biological–mechanical system was shown to be cost-effective with an equivalent saving of 4.6 years of sand encroachment. The hazard implications of sand storm events continue to be a major concern for policy-makers given their detrimental economic impacts, and require that government officials wisely allocate investment budgets to effectively control and mitigate their damaging effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterizing Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) Intensity in China Based on Meteorological Data
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2372; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072372 - 09 Jul 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Sand and dust storms (SDS) are global phenomena that significantly impact the socio-economy, human health, and the environment. The characterization of SDS intensity is a fundamental aspect of SDS issues and studies. In this study, a sand and dust storms index (SDSI [...] Read more.
Sand and dust storms (SDS) are global phenomena that significantly impact the socio-economy, human health, and the environment. The characterization of SDS intensity is a fundamental aspect of SDS issues and studies. In this study, a sand and dust storms index (SDSI) is developed to characterize SDS intensity by addressing the potential impacts of sand and dust storms on sensitive elements. Compared with other indices, SDSI includes four SDS-related components: SDS frequency, SDS visibility, SDS duration, and SDS wind speed. Using SDSI, this study characterizes the SDS intensity in the Three-North Forest Shelterbelt Program (TNFSP) region of China. The SDSI results show that high values of SDSI are mostly concentrated in southern Xinjiang, western and central Inner Mongolia, western and central Gansu, and northern Ningxia. By analyzing the SDSI components, over half of the stations experienced sand and dust storms no more than once per year on average. Most of the SDS events reduced horizontal visibility to less than 500 m, one-third of SDS events last more than two hours, and the wind speed of over half of the SDS events varied between 10–17 m/s. In comparison with SDS frequency, SDSI performs better in reflecting the spatial and temporal variation of SDS events. Therefore, instead of SDS frequency, SDSI can be applied to studies relevant to SDS intensity. Finally, five major SDS transportation routes were identified based on the surface prevailing wind direction, SDSI, and the existing literature. The SDS routes, combined with SDSI, could help governments and policy-makers cooperate on a regional level to combat SDS events more effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Fine Particulate Matter in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates Using Complementary Experimental Techniques
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1088; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041088 - 05 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Airborne particulate matter (PM) pollutants were sampled from an urban background site in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The fine fraction (PM2.5) (particulates with aerodynamic diameters of less than 2.5 μm) was collected on 47-mm Teflon filters and analyzed using a combined [...] Read more.
Airborne particulate matter (PM) pollutants were sampled from an urban background site in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The fine fraction (PM2.5) (particulates with aerodynamic diameters of less than 2.5 μm) was collected on 47-mm Teflon filters and analyzed using a combined set of non-destructive techniques in order to provide better understanding of the sources of pollutants and their interaction during transport in the atmosphere. These techniques included gravimetric analysis, equivalent black carbon (EBC), X-ray fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Generally, the PM2.5 concentrations are within the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency. The EBC content is in the range of 10–12% of the total PM concentration (2–4 µg m−3), while S (as ammonium sulfate), Ca (as calcite, gypsum, and calcium carbonate), Si (as quartz), Fe, and Al were the major sources of PM pollution. EBC, ammonium sulfate, Zn, V, and Mn originate from anthropogenic sources such as fossil fuel burning, traffic, and industrial emissions. Natural elements such as Ca, Fe, Al, Si, and Ti are due to natural sources such as crustal materials (enhanced during dust episodes) and sea salts. The average contribution of natural sources in the total PM2.5 mass concentration over the sampling period is about 40%, and the contribution of the secondary inorganic compounds is about 27% (mainly ammonium sulfate in our case). The remaining 22% is assumed to be secondary organic compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Sustainable Street Tree Planting Patterns to Be Resistant against Fine Particles (PM2.5)
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1709; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101709 - 24 Sep 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Recent health threats from fine particles of PM2.5 have been warned by various health organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international governmental agencies. Due to the recognised threats of such particulate materials within urban areas, counter measures against PM [...] Read more.
Recent health threats from fine particles of PM2.5 have been warned by various health organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international governmental agencies. Due to the recognised threats of such particulate materials within urban areas, counter measures against PM2.5 have been largely explored; however, the methods in the context of planting types and structures have been neglected. Therefore, this study investigated and analysed the concentration levels of PM2.5 in roads, planting areas, and residential zones within urban areas. Moreover, the study attempted to identify any meaningful factors influencing the reduction of PM2.5 and their efficiencies. After surveying PM2.5 in winter and spring season, there were serious reductions of PM2.5 concentrations within the areas of pedestrian paths, planting, and residential areas compared to other urban areas. In particular, a significant low level of PM2.5 concentrations was shown in the residential areas located behind planting bands as green buffer. This research also found that three-dimensional volumes and quantity of planting rows play a critical role in reducing PM2.5. A negative correlation was shown between the fluctuated concentration rate of PM2.5 and quantity of planting rows—single row of trees showed fluctuated concentration rate of PM2.5, 84.77%, followed by double rows of trees 79.49%, and triple rows of trees 75.02%. Especially, trees need to be planted at certain distance to allow wind to diffuse fine particles rather than dense planting. Finally, planting shrubs also significantly reduces the concentration level of PM2.5—the fluctuated concentration rate of the single layer showed 88.79%, while the double layer and the multi-layer showed 81.16% and 68.93%, respectively—since it increases three-dimensional volume of urban plantings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Types, Indications and Impact Evaluation of Sand and Dust Storms Trajectories in the Arabian Gulf
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1526; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091526 - 27 Aug 2017
Cited by 19
Abstract
Dust is a common weather phenomenon in the Arabian Gulf, which has severely affected economy and health. Sand and dust storms (SDS) trajectories in the Arabian Gulf were temporally and spatially monitored from March 2000 to March 2017. Eight major SDS trajectories were [...] Read more.
Dust is a common weather phenomenon in the Arabian Gulf, which has severely affected economy and health. Sand and dust storms (SDS) trajectories in the Arabian Gulf were temporally and spatially monitored from March 2000 to March 2017. Eight major SDS trajectories were detected from satellite images. The dust storms trajectories were categorized according to shape and size into three main types with 12 subtypes in the region. The annual transported dust amount into the Arabian Gulf was estimated by 89.1 million metric tons, which is about 10,330 metric tons per cubic kilometer of water volume. In comparison to other seas and oceans, the amount of dust deposited into the Arabian Gulf water body volume is the highest. Dust deposited in the coastal regions within the Arabian Gulf are originated from Mesopotamian Flood Plain (MFP), Ahwaz (HZ), Ahwar (HR) and Baluchistan Desert (BSH) and characterized by physical parameters and composition. Such physical characterization of the trajectories of SDS, and of the properties of particles transported in the Arabian Gulf can be helpful to assess and mitigate the environmental impact of future similar events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Volcanic Ash on Road and Airfield Surface Skid Resistance
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081389 - 06 Aug 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Volcanic ash deposited on paved surfaces during volcanic eruptions often compromises skid resistance, which is a major component of safety. We adopt the British pendulum test method in laboratory conditions to investigate the skid resistance of road asphalt and airfield concrete surfaces covered [...] Read more.
Volcanic ash deposited on paved surfaces during volcanic eruptions often compromises skid resistance, which is a major component of safety. We adopt the British pendulum test method in laboratory conditions to investigate the skid resistance of road asphalt and airfield concrete surfaces covered by volcanic ash sourced from various locations in New Zealand. Controlled variations in ash characteristics include type, depth, wetness, particle size and soluble components. We use Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) for most road surface experiments but also test porous asphalt, line-painted road surfaces, and a roller screed concrete mix used for airfields. Due to their importance for skid resistance, SMA surface macrotexture and microtexture are analysed with semi-quantitative image analysis, microscopy and a standardised sand patch volumetric test, which enables determination of the relative effectiveness of different cleaning techniques. We find that SMA surfaces covered by thin deposits (~1 mm) of ash result in skid resistance values slightly lower than those observed on wet uncontaminated surfaces. At these depths, a higher relative soluble content for low-crystalline ash and a coarser particle size results in lower skid resistance. Skid resistance results for relatively thicker deposits (3–5 mm) of non-vesiculated basaltic ash are similar to those for thin deposits. There are similarities between road asphalt and airfield concrete, although there is little difference in skid resistance between bare airfield surfaces and airfield surfaces covered by 1 mm of ash. Based on our findings, we provide recommendations for maintaining road safety and effective cleaning techniques in volcanic ash environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Sand and Dust Storms: Impact Mitigation
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9061053 - 17 Jun 2017
Cited by 14
Abstract
Sand and dust storms (SDS) play an integral role in the Earth system but they also present a range of hazards to the environmental and economic sustainability of human society. These hazards are of considerable importance for residents of dryland environments and also [...] Read more.
Sand and dust storms (SDS) play an integral role in the Earth system but they also present a range of hazards to the environmental and economic sustainability of human society. These hazards are of considerable importance for residents of dryland environments and also affect people beyond drylands because wind erosion can occur in most environments and desert dust events often involve long-range transport over great distances (>1000 km). This paper makes an assessment of the scale of SDS impacts by totalling the countries affected using an appraisal of peer-reviewed published sources, arriving at a conservative estimate that 77% of all parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are affected directly by SDS issues. We then present a synthesis of the environmental management techniques designed to mitigate SDS hazards for disaster risk reduction and review policy measures, both historical and contemporary, for SDS impact mitigation. Although many SDS hazards are well-known, the processes involved and their impacts are not all equally well-understood. Policies designed to mitigate the impacts of wind erosion in agricultural areas have been developed in certain parts of the world but policies designed to mitigate the wider impacts of SDS, including many that are transboundary, are geographically patchy and have a much shorter history. Further development and wider implementation of such policies is advocated because of the recent marked increase in wind erosion and associated dust storms in several parts of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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