Southern California’s Shrinking Salton Sea

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Southern California’s Shrinking Salton Sea: Mapping, Managing and Mitigating New PM10 Air Pollution Sources

Abstract:
The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) Water Conservation and Transfer Project includes a long-term transfer of up to 303,000 acre-feet of water annually from IID to the San Diego County Water Authority, and the Coachella Valley Water District. The Water Transfer Project, along with other factors affecting Salton Sea inflows and water balance, will result in accelerated exposure of the Salton Sea floor. As the Sea continues to recede, there is potential for windblown dust emissions from the exposed dry lakebed (the playa). A significant portion of this windblown dust is PM10 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 micrometers or less). PM10 are approximately 1/7th the thickness of a human hair, are small enough to be inhaled, and represent a potential human health risk.

The Salton Sea Air Quality Program is focused on monitoring and mitigating dust emissions from exposed Salton Sea playa. Remote sensing is a key component of this program, and will be used to map playa surfaces, vegetative cover, and active dust source areas. Learn how satellite, aerial and UAV images all contribute to this effort and how they are being processed using Trimble eCognition image analysis software. The presentation will also discuss dust control pilot projects, such as Surface Roughening, and the remote sensing techniques used to inform design and evaluate dust control effectiveness.

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