Daddy, why is the playa dusty?

This is what happens when you spend too much time on the interwebs–you find sites like this one. Ever wondered why the playa creates dust? Now you know everything.

Hydrology of Playas and the Genesis of Dust

The relations among playa type, playa hydrology, and surface sediment characteristics are important factors that control the type and amount of dust emitted from playas. The production of evaporite minerals during evaporative loss of near-surface ground water results in both the creation and maintenance of several centimeters or more of loose sediment at wet playas.


Schematic cross-sections illustrating elements of (a) wet and (b) dry playas

About the author: Tom Price

Tom Price

Tom Price is the former Executive Director of Black Rock Solar. Prior to that he was the Environmental Manager for Burning Man during the Green Man theme, and was in the Gulf Coast for six months during the genesis of Burners Without Borders. He's been attending Burning Man since 1997, and he's proud to say that his decade plus streak of breaking down from sun stroke on the playa on day three remains intact.