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A first generation dynamic ingress, redistribution and transport model of soil track-in: DIRT


This work introduces a spatially resolved quantitative model, based on conservation of mass and first order transfer kinetics, for following the transport and redistribution of outdoor soil to, and within, the indoor environment by track-in on footwear. Implementations of the DIRT model examined the influence of room size, rug area and location, shoe size, and mass transfer coefficients for smooth and carpeted floor surfaces using the ratio of mass loading on carpeted to smooth floor surfaces as a performance metric. Results showed that in the limit for large numbers of random steps the dual aspects of deposition to and track-off from the carpets govern this ratio. Using recently obtained experimental measurements, historic transport and distribution parameters, cleaning efficiencies for the different floor surfaces, and indoor dust deposition rates to provide model boundary conditions, DIRT predicts realistic floor surface loadings. The spatio-temporal variability in model predictions agrees with field observations and suggests that floor surface dust loadings are constantly in flux; steady state distributions are hardly, if ever, achieved.

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This work was supported by NSF Grant: BCS-0221949. I appreciate the technical discussions of particle transfer kinetics with A. Chatterjee.

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Correspondence to D. L. Johnson.

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A contribution from ESF Center for the Urban Environment.

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Johnson, D.L. A first generation dynamic ingress, redistribution and transport model of soil track-in: DIRT. Environ Geochem Health 30, 589–596 (2008).

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  • Deposition patterns
  • Floor dust
  • Soil track-in
  • Track-off
  • Transfer kinetics
  • Transport model