USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

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Impacts of Vehicle Activity on Airborne Particle Deposition to Lake Tahoe

Full title: Impacts of vehicle activity on airborne particle deposition to Lake Tahoe


Lead Researchers: Hampden Kuhns, John Gillies, and Alan Gertler, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute


This proposal addresses the need to accurately estimate the impact of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on particulate matter (PM) loading to the lake as stated in the Air Quality - Particle Deposition Science - Theme. The work will be accomplished via seven objectives: (1) assembling datasets, reports, and journal articles from previous studies, (2) summarizing the location and timing of road dust PM emissions in the basin, (3) summarizing vehicle classes operating on different road types in the basin, (4) summarizing the amount of suspended material that deposits close to the roadway, (5) analyzing the link between road location and the material transported over the lake, (6) assessing the impact of the number and location of trips on lake water clarity, and (7) reconciling estimates of atmospheric deposition fluxes to the lake with prior measurements. The results from the study will enable planners to more accurately estimate the effects of growth as well as VMT reduction strategies on lake water clarity. In addition, the project will provide important information on sediment deposition flux to the lake for use in water quality modeling.

Expected date of final products: December 2010.
Progress Report available for download

Schedule of milestones and deliverables
Milestone/Deliverables Start Date End Date Description
First Progress Report Jul 1, 2009 Oct 1, 2009 Assemble available data and summarize results
Second Progress Report Oct 1, 2009 Jan 1, 2010 Summarize Road Dust Factors and Vehicle Class Distribution
Third Progress Report Jan 1, 2010 Apr 1, 2010 Summarize Near Field Deposition and Assess Link Location to Deposition Prior to the Lake
Draft Final Report Apr 1, 2010 May 30, 2010 Assess Impacts of a Marginal Trip and Reconcile Atmospheric Deposition Estimates Deliver draft final report to Tahoe Science Program coordinator Prepare manuscripts for submission to peer reviewed journals
Revise Final Report Jun 14, 2010 Jun 30, 2010 Incorporate comments and suggestions into final report and deliver hard copies Submit manuscripts for publication
Last Modified: Mar 28, 2013 02:52:07 PM