Journal of Air Pollution and Health 2017. 2(4):181 - 188.

Ayoub Torkian, Mahdi Dashti, Maryam Mejari, Mahsa Adl


Introduction: Drying of parts of Lake Urmia has exposed to salt domes in various areas of the lake. As such, the economic incentive for salt harvesting has been improved due to the easier access. Nonetheless, these operations have the potential of generating particulate air pollutants that can adversely impact immediate and distant agricultural and residential areas. Dispersion modeling is needed to evaluate the effect of various operational parameters on the generation and transport of these particulates.

Materials and methods: A mine with the capacity of 1250 tons /day in the area of Qobadlu and two other salt sites around lake Urmia were considered for modeling. Major activities that contribute to pollutant production include transport vehicles and wind erosion from storage salt piles. Wind erosion from the piles was evaluated under different scenarios using CFD approach. Using emission factors for other activities, topographic and climate data, Gaussian dispersion of particles was conducted using ADMS modelling system.

Results: The results showed that transportation of particles occurs towards the lake with negligible concentrations for distances within the 150 m radius; observed trend was a reduction from concentrations of around 100 μg / m3 at the site to 5 μg / m3 at the afore - mentioned distance. Layout optimization of storage piles and erection of barriers respectively resulted in up to 17 % and 44 % reduction in particulate generation from pile surfaces.

Conclusions: The results of this research have been used in the preparation of the environmental guidelines for salt harvesting in compliance with the lake Urmia restoration directives.


Mathematical modeling; particle emission; air pollution; lake Urmia; salt harvesting

Full Text:



Shamsipour A, Najibzadeh F, Zarei Chaghabalki Z. The

numerical modeling and simulating of winds over Urmia

Lake basin. Natural geography research. Journal

of physical geography research quarterly. 2013; 45(1):


Nickfal A, Sehhat Kashani S, Karami S, Hossein Hamza

N. Evaluation of EURAD and WRF / chem numerical

models in forecasting of dust (case study February

. The 5th national conference on air pollution and

sound management. Iran clean air science association.

Pourasghar F, Hasan Alizadeh A, Akbarzadeh Y, Soltani

M. Investigating the distribution of salt particles into

the surrounding environment in the Urmia Lake. National

conference of air flow and pollution. 2012

Haji SA, Hosseini SM. Comparison of software models

for simulating particle distribution. First conference of

environmental engineering. University of Tehran, 2008

Cong XC, Yang SL, Cao SQ, Chen ZL, Dai MX, Peng

ST. Effect of aggregate stockpile configuration and layout

on dust emissions in an open yard. Applied mathematical

modeling. 2012; 36(11): 5482-5491.

US Environmental Protection Agency. AP - 42 section

2.2. Emission factor for unpaved roads. Washington

D.C: EPA; 2006

Department of environmental quality, state of Utah. Emission factors for paved and unpaved Haul roads.

Arizona department of environmental quality. Revised

PM10 state implementation plan for the salt river area.

Fariborzai Araghi F, Salari A. Principles and criteria of

load dimensions and weights. Tehran: ARG engineering

company; 2009.

US Environmental Protection Agency. AP-42 Section

2.4. Emission factor for aggregate handling and storage

piles. Washington D.C: EPA; 2006

The salt institute of the United States. Salt storage

handbook, safe and sustainable salt storage. United

States: The salt institute; 2015.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.