Dependence of the dust emission on the aggregate sizes in loess soils

Gilad Gelbart, Itzhak Katra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Dust emission resulted from soil erosion by wind with significant impacts of soil (nutrient) loss and air pollution of particulate matter (PM). The ejection of dust from soil aggregates due to saltation has been hypothesized to play a major role in dust emission. Yet empirical information on the role of different aggregate sizes in dust emission is still lacking. The main goal of this study was to explore the dust emission threshold in different aggregate sizes of a semiarid loess soil. To this end, we conducted targeted wind-tunnel experiment on dust emission. The results show that dust emission from aggregate at size of 63-250 μm, 250-500 μm, and 500-1000 μm is enabled only under the conditions of saltation. The dust-PM threshold at shear velocities of 0.24-0.52 m/s depends on the aggregates size. Aggregates at the size of saltators (125-500 μm) were the most productive in dust generation by the mechanism of aggregate disintegration. In our bulk sample, the aggregate group of 63-250 μm has the highest contribution to the total dust emission. The study aimed to advance our capability in soil resources management and for model parameterization in dust emission schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2921
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number16
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Particle size distribution
  • Particulate matter
  • Soil erosion
  • Wind tunnel


Dive into the research topics of 'Dependence of the dust emission on the aggregate sizes in loess soils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this