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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Wind Erosion from Military Training Lands in the California Desert

Authors
item Van Donk, Simon
item Huang, X - KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Skidmore, Edward
item Anderson, A - UNITED STATES ARMY
item Gebhart, V - UNITED STATES ARMY
item Prehoda, V - U.S. MARINE CORPS
item Kellogg, E - TIERRA DATA SYSTEMS

Submitted to: Journal of Arid Environments
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 29, 2001
Publication Date: July 6, 2003
Citation: Van Donk, S.J., Huang, X., Skidmore, E.L., Anderson, A.B., Gebhart, D.L., Prehoda, V.E. Kellogg, E.M. 2003. Wind erosion from military training lands in the Mojave Desert, California, USA. Journal of Arid Environments. 54:687-703.

Interpretive Summary: Military training activities reduce vegetation cover and degrade soil, making it more vulnerable to wind eroison. Recovery of eroded land is difficult and may take a long time. Land managers need to know how different management practices influence wind erosion potential. A computer model or Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) has been developed for the simulation of wind erosion from agricultural fields. It has the potential to meet the need of military land managers if adapted to the unique aspects of such lands. Data were collected to support the adaptation of WEPS to military training lands. Wind-blown sand and soil were sampled at five sites at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, USA. Once a month, sand was collected from the samplers for analysis, for a total period of 14 months. Occurrence of sand movement was measured continuously using automated, electronic devices. Data, describing the soil surface, were also collected. Sites with significant rock cover or a crust at the soil surface eroded much less than others.

Technical Abstract: Military training activities reduce vegetation cover and degrade soil aggregates, making the land more vulnerable to wind erosion. A processbased Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) is being developed for the simulation of wind erosion from agricultural fields. It has the potential to meet the need of military land managers if adapted to the unique aspects of such lands. The objective of this study was to quantify wind erosion rates for typical soil, vegetation, and disturbance regimes that occur at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, USA. Five Big Spring Number Eight (BSNE) sampler stations were installed at each of five sites. Each BSNE station consisted of five BSNE samplers. Once a month, sediment was collected from BSNE samplers for analysis. Occurrence of saltating soil particles was measured continously using Sensits, one at each site. The most erosive site had a sediment discharge of 311 kg m-1 over a period of 14 months. Other sites eroded much less because of significant rock cover or the presence of a crust. Sensit particle count and sediment discharge measured with BSNE samplers are realted, but more simultaneously measured data are needed to better characterize this relationship and reconstruct a detailed time series of wind erosion. This measureed time series can be used for comparison with simulation results from process based wind erosion models such as WEPS.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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