Public Lab Research note

Mapping dust hotspots with low-cost monitors

by mathew | April 06, 2016 17:36 06 Apr 17:36 | #12928 | #12928

What I want to do

Discuss a method for mapping the variability of airborne dust across the landscape. I'm going to summarize the use of passive PM monitors and optical PM monitors outlined in:

Passive sampling to capture spatial variability in PM10–2.5 Darrin K. Ott, Thomas M. Peters, and Naresh Kumar Atmospheric Environment 42 (2008) 746–756

My attempt and results

Ott et al. toured Iowa city taking 6-minute samples with their optical particle counter at over 60 sites over four days in order to create a preliminary map of suspected hotspots. Most spots were visited at least twice:


They used an analysis of this data to identified the number of passive PM monitors needed and the locations for long-term sampling. passive PM monitors were deployed for three 7-day samples per site.


The data was suggestive that a rock quarry was the most consistent source of course particles across seasons, while the roadway, a suspected route of exposure, didn't show elevated levels.

Questions and next steps

This methodology is potentially replicable.

Why I'm interested

I did this Help out by offering feedback!

People who did this (0)

None yet. Be the first to post one!


Login to comment.