Particle resuspension in turbulent flow: A stochastic model for individual soil grains

Allison R. Harris, Cliff I. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A stochastic model for the motion of a particle initially at rest on a surface is explored. Fluid and adhesive forces are quantified based on first principles, and turbulent fluctuations are addressed probabilistically from probability distribution functions. A Monte Carlo process yields the distributions of particle position and velocity under a wide range of wind conditions and soil sizes. Results indicate that particle size and friction velocity are the most important factors in determining if a particle will resuspend and in predicting its subsequent motion. Larger wind speeds produce more violent fluctuations, which have a greater effect on small particles than on large particles. A theoretical analysis of the threshold friction velocity supports earlier experimental findings. The aerodynamic lift force cannot be neglected, and the torque exerted on a particle can be important in some cases. Applying the results of this work may contribute to reducing uncertainty in large-scale aerosol models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-628
Number of pages16
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Pollution


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