Wind forces and related saltation transport

J.K. Leenders, J.H. van Boxel, G. Sterk

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75 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of several wind characteristics on sand transport was studied in three experiments in north Burkina Faso, West Africa. The first experiment is used to analyse the relation between wind speed and shear stress fluctuations across height. The second experiment is used to study the relation of these wind characteristics with saltation transport for fourteen convective storms, registered during the rainy seasons of 2002 and 2003. The effect of sampling time is studied for two of these convective storms. The third experiment relates the turbulent structures of four convective storms to saltation transport. Wind speed measurements were undertaken with two sonic anemometers and sediment transport was measured by two saltiphones. The sampling frequency was either 8 or 16 Hz. The sonic frame of reference was rotated according to a triple rotation. Horizontal fluctuations showed a (fairly) good correlation with height because the wind speed at both sensors was affected by the same vortices. The correlation coefficients ranged from 0.42 (when the distance between the sensors was 1.75 m) to 0.92 (when the distance was 0.25 m). The instantaneous Reynolds' stress had the weakest correlation (correlation coefficient of 0.05 at 1.75 m between the sensors and 0.56 at 0.25 m between the sensors), because the momentum at 2 m above the soil surface is transported by different eddies than those close to the ground. This also explains the fairly good correlation coefficients between the horizontal components of the wind and saltation compared to the poor correlations between instantaneous Reynolds' stress and saltation. An increase in sampling time did not have much impact on these correlation coefficients up to sampling periods of about 30 s. However, this sampling interval would be too coarse to describe the vertical wind component adequately. The classification of the moments of shear stress into the turbulent structures, sweeps, ejections, inward and outward interactions, showed that the mean saltation flux is higher at sweeps and outward interactions than at ejections and inward interactions. Also, saltation occurred more often during sweeps and outward interactions than during ejections and inward interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-372
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • atmospheric surface-layer
  • boundary-layer
  • sediment transport
  • sea

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