nfpa > NF Road Anti-paving Home > Dust probably has no effect

From: Jack Stanford
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 1999 19:48
To: John Frederick
Subject: Re: North Fork Road dust



The dust probably has no measurable effect on the river, because the river carries a very high sediment load naturally plus whatever additional sediment load is related to the sum of all land use activities in the drainage (e.g., road berm erosion and accelerated river bank erosion related to increased runoff from clearcuts). Dust is an issue for Flathead Lake because some 30% of the nutrient load is atmospheric including a large portion from fugitive dust. I do not think that it would be possible to measure a simliar effect on the North Fork because the surface area of the river is very small portion of the north fork river valley and the dust, on the summer days when it does plume up fromthe road, spreads out over valley floor and most of it probably comes down in the forested areas. I observed this very thing from a high point near Hidden Meadow this last summer with my ecology class. The dust was rising off the road and drifting out over the valley bottom away from the river. But, certainly some does go into the river.


Jack A. Stanford
Flathead Lake Biological Station
The University of Montana
Polson, MT. 59860 USA

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Last update: 14 Dec 1999