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A laboratory desert dust generator using vibration on a soil sample: mineralogical and compositional study
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  • Zihan Qu,
  • Amel Trabelsi,
  • Remi Losno,
  • Fabrice Monna,
  • Sophie Nowak,
  • Mohamed Masmoudi,
  • Jean-Paul Quisefit
Zihan Qu
LISA - Université Paris Est Créteil, Université Paris Diderot, UMR CNRS 7583
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Amel Trabelsi
Faculté des Sciences de Sfax
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Remi Losno
Universite de Paris - IPGP

Corresponding Author:remi.losno@u-paris.fr

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Fabrice Monna
ARTEHIS University of Bourgogne
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Sophie Nowak
RX Facility - Department of Chemistry - Paris Diderot University
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Mohamed Masmoudi
Faculte´ des Sciences de Sfax
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Jean-Paul Quisefit
Retired - Department of Chemistry - Paris Diderot University
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A laboratory study was carried out using a vibrating system (SyGAVib) to produce particles from four soils collected in the central Tunisian region around Sfax. The aim of this device is to mimic dust emission by natural wind erosion. Using compositional analysis, the dust produced was compared to: dust generated in a wind tunnel by the same soils, fine sieved and original bulk soils, and naturally occurring aerosol samples collected in the same area. The relative quartz content strongly decreases from bulk to fine soils, and again from fine soils to both wind tunnel and vibration generated aerosols. Compositional data analysis (CoDA) clearly shows: a silica dilution effect in bulk soils, and that if silica is removed from the composition, the elemental compositions of fine soils and generated aerosols are similar but differ from bulk soils. Both aerosol generation methods produce material with chemical compositions that are also close to those measured in field-sampled aerosols, and the fine soil composition is much closer to that of field and laboratory aerosols than to the parent soil. Aerosols generated from soils in the laboratory, either using a vibrating system or a wind tunnel, can be used as surrogates of the particles collected directly in the field.