The effect of vegetation on wind-blown mass transport at the regional scale: A wind tunnel experiment

I.F. Youssef, S.M. Visser, D. Karssenberg, G. Erpul, W.M. Cornelis, D. Gabriels, A. Poortinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wind erosion is a global environmental problem. Re-vegetating land is a commonly used method to reduce the negative effects of wind erosion. However, there is limited knowledge on the effect of vegetation pattern on wind-blown mass transport. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of vegetation pattern on this phenomenon within a land unit and at the border between land units. Wind tunnel experiments were conducted with artificial shrubs representing Atriplex halimus. Wind runs at a speed of 11 m s– 1 were conducted and sand translocation was measured after 200–230 s using a graph paper prepared for this purpose.This research showed that: 1) the transport within a land unit is affected by the neighboring land units and by the vegetation pattern within both the unit itself and the neighboring land units; 2) re-vegetation plans for degraded land can take into account the 'streets' effect (zones of erosion areas similar to streets); 3) the effect of neighboring land units includes sheltering effect and the regulation of sediment passing from one land unit to the neighboring land units and 4) in addition to investigation of the general effect of vegetation pattern on erosion and deposition within the region, it is important to investigate the redistribution of sediment at smaller scales depending on the scope of the project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-188
JournalGeomorphology
Volume159-160
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • northern chihuahuan desert
  • sand transport
  • erosion control
  • forest edge
  • flow
  • area
  • turbulence
  • threshold
  • cover
  • speed

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