Submitted to: Annals of Arid Zone
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: June 30, 2001
Publication Date: June 30, 2001
Citation: Van Donk, S.J., Skidmore, E.L. Field experiments for evaluating wind erosion models. Annals of Arid Zone. 2001. v. 40(3). p. 281-302.
Erosion of soil by wind is a serious problem in many arid regions throughout the world. Agricultural producers, as well as managers of non-agricultural lands, need to know how different management practices impact wind erosion. For this purpose, several wind erosion models have been developed. Models, however, need to be tested using experimental data. This paper reviews wind erosion field research, emphasizing recent contributions, and describes experiments and measurements required to evaluate wind erosion models. Three types of data are needed to evaluate wind erosion models: airborne sediment flux, meteorological data and data describing the condition of the field surface. The Big Spring Number Eight (BSNE) and the Modified Wilson and Cooke (MWAC) samplers are the most widely used collectors of airborne sediment. The Sensit and the Saltiphone do not collect sediment, but continuously record the occurrence and intensity of saltating particles. Additional work is needed to investigate their use for the actual quantification of sediment flux. Several researchers have developed some type of continuously weighing sampler: a sampler and an electronic scale combined in one apparatus. These devices are not yet fully operational and are expensive. Their cost has to decrease if they are to be used more widely. More research is also needed on methods to continuously measure soil moisture at the soil surface. Radiation data such as surface albedo may be useful in this regard.