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Characterization of Desert Road Dust Aerosol from Provinces of Afghanistan and Iraq

Category: Articles

Volume: 12 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 1209-1216
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2012.05.0112

Export Citation:  RIS | BibTeX

Nikolaj Dobrzhinsky1, Edvinas Krugly2, Linas Kliucininkas2, Tadas Prasauskas2, Maksim Kireitseu3, Axel Zerrath3, Dainius Martuzevicius 2

  • 1 Department of Transport Engineering, Kaunas University of Technology, Kestucio str. 27, LT-44312, Kaunas, Lithuania
  • 2 Department of Environmental Engineering, Kaunas University of Technology, Radvilenu rd. 19, LT-50254, Kaunas, Lithuania
  • 3 TSI GmbH, Neuköllner Strasse 4, 52068 Aachen, Germany


Resuspended desert dust is an important air pollutant in both local and transboundary levels. Research on the resuspension and properties of desert road dust particulate matter (PM) was performed with dust samples from the provinces of Kandahar, Herat and Ghor in Afghanistan, and the province of Baghdad in Iraq. Measurements of the concentrations of airborne PM in Kandahar province showed that near the military unit PMtotal ranged from 58.3 μg/m3 to 85.5 μg/m3, while in the motorcade the concentrations ranged from 13787.9 μg/m3 to 18181.8 μg/m3. The particle size distribution (PSD) of the resuspended dust samples in laboratory conditions revealed that the PSD may have a bi-modal shape with a clearly defined mode (d = 1.98–2.13 μm), and less expressed second mode at ~1 μm. The highest amounts of resuspended PM resulted from the samples taken at Kandahar province. The dust from other regions showed lower amounts of resuspended particles (~75% lower in Ghor, ~85% in Herat, and ~96% in Bagdad). The X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of dust showed the presence of calcite, quartzite, albite, muscovite, potassium-feldspar, and nimite in the samples. SO42– concentrations in the road dust samples ranged from 71.3 ± 8.5 × 103 μg/kg to 221.1 ± 18.3 × 103 μg/kg, and the amounts of Cl– varied from 378.2 ± 81.9 × 103 μg/kg to 3876.2 ± 295.2 × 103 μg/kg. The results of particle size distribution and composition were discussed with respect to their potential negative influences on road vehicles.


Middle east Desert road dust Particulate matter Aerosol Resuspension

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