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‘MTSU On the Record’ guest braves dust, rain to as...

‘MTSU On the Record’ guest braves dust, rain to assess weather’s impact on different environments

The relatively unstudied area of how dust carried by rain affects both arid and humid regions was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Joseph "Joe" Collins, Department of Geosciences, assistant professor

Dr. Joe Collins

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Joe Collins, an assistant professor in MTSU’s Department of Geosciences, first aired Sept. 4 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at www.wmot.org. You can listen to it above.

Along with researchers from the University of North Texas, Collins collected and studied rainwater samples during the 2012 drought in Texas. They found that dust can carry nutrients and pollutants across oceans before depositing them into new environments.

After examining samples from the arid Guadalupe Mountains and the humid gulf coastal prairie, Collins and his colleagues determined that dust-in-rain samples delivered as much as 60 percent of ecosystems’ annual nutrient and pollutant inputs.

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web Collins said irrigation and reservoirs will continue to be essential in areas that emit a great deal of dust-filled rain.

“A lot of the data show that it is going to become drier out there, but there’s also an increase in precipitation, too, except the precipitation comes down all at once as opposed to throughout the year,” Collins said.

“As a farmer, you want it to rain during times when your crops need it. We’re worried about what that does to an entire region that’s in a drought.”

“Wet Dust Deposition Across Texas During the 2012 Drought: An Overlooked Pathway for Elemental Flux to Ecosystems,” was published July 6 in the American Geophysical Union’s Journal for Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

You can read the abstract and supporting information for the study here.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

A catfish carcass on the shoreline of Lake Texoma, one of the largest reservoirs in the United States, shows the effect that drought and litter have on wildlife in this April 2014 file photo. Volunteers from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, helped clean up hazardous objects on the beach exposed by low water levels at the reservoir, which is located on the Oklahoma-Texas border. MTSU geosciences professor Joe Collins will discuss his research, begun while he worked in north Texas, into how dust carried by rain affects both arid and humid regions on the Sept. 4 edition of the "MTSU On the Record" radio program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Robert L. McIlrath)

A catfish carcass on the shoreline of Lake Texoma, one of the largest reservoirs in the United States, shows the effect that drought and litter have on wildlife in this April 2014 file photo. Volunteers from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, helped clean up hazardous objects on the beach exposed by low water levels at the reservoir, which is located on the Oklahoma-Texas border. MTSU geosciences professor Joe Collins discussed his research, begun while he worked in north Texas, into how dust carried by rain affects both arid and humid regions on the Sept. 4 and 9 editions of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Robert L. McIlrath)


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