New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Air Quality Bureau

Sources of Dust

Dust storms are caused by a combination of weather conditions, the natural environment and human activities. High winds can raise large amounts of dust from areas of dry, loose, exposed soil. High winds are most common during the late winter and spring months.

Sources of dust can include the following:

Soil disturbance during construction projects

Disturbed land areas that are cleared and vacant

Unpaved roads, parking lots and playgrounds

Windblown emissions from tilled fields

Military training exercises

Unpaved equipment yards

Undisturbed desert areas during the highest winds

Dust becomes much more common where natural soils have been disturbed by human activities. This tends to be concentrated close to populated areas.


Return to Main Windblown Dust Page