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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (2020)

Dust in the Critical Zone from the Great Basin to the Rocky Mountains

DUST Great Basin

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Titre : Dust in the Critical Zone from the Great Basin to the Rocky Mountains

Organismes NSF : EAR Division Of Earth Sciences

Durée : September 1, 2020 — $77,922.00

Résumé
Natural and human disturbances that alter sparsely vegetated landscapes in arid climates greatly increase the abundance of fine-grained sediment available for wind erosion. This material is transported widely through the atmosphere as dust. Deposition of this dust in downwind mountain ecosystems alters the chemistry of surface water, contributes to soil formation, delivers significant nutrients for plants, and changes the timing of snowpack melting. This project will investigate the entire dust system in the southwestern US from source to sink at an array of study sites from the deserts of southern Nevada into the Rocky Mountains. Results will allow the interconnectedness of desert and mountain environments to be evaluated, and will be of use to land management agencies and policymakers. Undergraduate students from populations historically underrepresented in the sciences will be supported through collaborations with established programs. A science outreach program for middle school girls will be organized out of Salt Lake Community College with community partners including the Salt Lake City School District and Girl Scouts of Utah. This program for will include field experiences, with scientists, graduate students, and undergraduate students serving as content experts and role models. The project will also identify atmospheric conditions responsible for delivering dust to the Salt Lake City urban area, providing the information necessary for modeling dust exposure frequency.

This project will establish a Critical Zone Thematic Cluster to investigate how dust derived from arid landscapes impacts the Critical Zone (CZ) in downwind mountain ecosystems. At study sites from the deserts of southern Nevada to the mountains of northern Utah, six researchers will lead complementary projects designed to illuminate 1) the factors that control dust emission ; 2) the atmospheric processes responsible for dust transport ; 3) the geochemical properties of dust and surficial materials in dust source areas ; 4) the effects of dust deposition on winter snowpack ; 5) the variability of mountain dust deposition through time and across the landscape ; 6) the impacts of long-term dust deposition on mountain soil development ; and 7) the bioavailability, fate, and role of dust-derived nutrients in mountain ecosystems. Selection of these study sites is grounded on a solid foundation of previous work, established monitoring networks, and unique multi-year datasets. Installation of monitoring equipment at dust emission sites, continued operation of sites for snow research, and expansion and maintenance of an existing dust collector network will enhance the physical infrastructure for the collection of key environmental variables to better illuminate CZ processes. The project is designed to offer numerous avenues for student involvement at all levels. Undergraduate students from populations historically underrepresented in the sciences will be supported through collaborations with established programs. A science outreach program for middle school girls will be organized out of Salt Lake Community College. The observation and modeling work to identify atmospheric conditions responsible for delivering dust to the Salt Lake City urban area will provide the information necessary for modeling dust exposure frequency. Results will be transferred back to the appropriate land man

Partenaire (s) : Maura Hahnenberger (Principal Investigator)

Bureau de recherche parrainé  : Salt Lake Community College P.O. Box 30808 Salt Lake City

Financement : $77,922.00

National Science Foundation

Page publiée le 23 juin 2021