This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A.
Dust emission from wet and dry playas in the Mojave Desert, USA†
Article first published online: 19 APR 2007
Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume 32, Issue 12, pages 1811–1827, 30 October 2007
How to Cite
Reynolds, R. L., Yount, J. C., Reheis, M., Goldstein, H., Chavez, P., Fulton, R., Whitney, J., Fuller, C. and Forester, R. M. (2007), Dust emission from wet and dry playas in the Mojave Desert, USA. Earth Surf. Process. Landforms, 32: 1811–1827. doi: 10.1002/esp.1515
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 FEB 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 30 JAN 2007
- Manuscript Received: 14 JUL 2006
- Earth Surface Dynamices Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
- evaporite minerals;
- Mojave Desert;
- wind erosion
The interactions between playa hydrology and playa-surface sediments are important factors that control the type and amount of dust emitted from playas as a result of wind erosion. The production of evaporite minerals during evaporative loss of near-surface ground water results in both the creation and maintenance of several centimeters or more of loose sediment on and near the surfaces of wet playas. Observations that characterize the texture, mineralogic composition and hardness of playa – surfaces at Franklin Lake, Soda Lake and West Cronese Lake playas in the Mojave Desert (California), along with imaging of dust emission using automated digital photography, indicate that these kinds of surface sediment are highly susceptible to dust emission. The surfaces of wet playas are dynamic surface texture and sediment availability to wind erosion change rapidly, primarily in response to fluctuations in water-table depth, rainfall and rates of evaporation. In contrast, dry playas are characterized by ground water at depth. Consequently, dry playas commonly have hard surfaces that produce little or no dust if undisturbed except for transient silt and clay deposited on surfaces by wind and water. Although not the dominant type of global dust, salt-rich dusts from wet playas may be important with respect to radiative properties of dust plumes, atmospheric chemistry, windborne nutrients and human health. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.