Aeolian Dust Forecast in Arid and Semiarid Regions of Peru and Chile and Their Contribution over Particulate Matter Concentration

Albert Salvador, Raúl Arasa, Bernat Codina
2016 Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection  
The dust generated in arid areas of the planet is a very important source of particulate matter in the air, especially favoured by the presence of winds that can raise erodible material from the surface. These particles have an important influence when making an assessment of the air quality, due to its direct and indirect impact on public health. In this work, we reproduce episodes of aeolian dusts in the desert areas of Peru and Chile, where high dust concentration events are common and many
more » ... re common and many mining industries are located. The differentiation of the contribution of particulate matter from Aeolian dusts and mining activities of the area is an important issue, as well as trying to forecast these events. For this purpose, we have calculated an erodibility factor at high resolution that, combined with WRF meteorological output and the GOCART dust scheme, gives the emission of particulate matter. We have introduced the emissions in the photochemical model CMAQ, which determines the concentrations in the different domains, and we have observed that the natural dust contributes greatly to pollution in the area, exceeding permissible limit values in the area of Paracas in Peru, and with contributions of up to 23% of the total particulate matter in the city of Calama in Chile, resulting non-negligible values for the evaluation of air quality.
doi:10.4236/gep.2016.41015 fatcat:mlc6yri53rcdzmwocot3it4ksq