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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOIL MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS THAT PREVENT WIND EROSION AND ENHANCE THE ENVIRONMENT

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Title: Erosion: Wind

Authors
item ZOBECK, TEDDY
item VAN PELT, ROBERT

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 8, 2010
Publication Date: May 15, 2011
Citation: Zobeck, T.M., Van Pelt, R.S. 2011. Erosion: Wind. In: Soil Management: Building a Stable Base for Agriculture. Madison, WI: Soil Science Society of America, Inc. 209-227.

Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion refers to the detachment, transport and deposition of sediment by wind. It is a dynamic, physical process where loose, dry, bare soils are transported by strong winds. Wind erosion is a soil degrading process that affects over 500 million ha of land worldwide and creates between 500 and 5000 Tg of suspended dust annually. During the infamous Dust Bowl of the1930’s, wind erosion of rangeland and cropland reached an annual peak of 20 million hectares while the entire area affected encompassed almost 40 million hectares. In 2003, the estimated erosion on cropland due to wind was 776 million tons per year. This book chapter describes the erosion process and the on-site and off-site effects of wind erosion. After the wind exceeds the threshold wind velocity, soil particles or small stable aggregates begin to move in three primary ways or modes of transport: creep, saltation, and suspension. Creep particles roll or are nudged across the soil surface. Particles in saltation hop or bounce along the soil surface while suspended particles are very small and can travel great distances in the wind. The chapter also describes a variety of management practices that can be used on cropped land to reduce or eliminate wind erosion.

Technical Abstract: Wind erosion refers to the detachment, transport and deposition of sediment by wind. It is a dynamic, physical process where loose, dry, bare soils are transported by strong winds. Wind erosion is a soil degrading process that affects over 500 million ha of land worldwide and creates between 500 and 5000 Tg of suspended dust annually. During the infamous Dust Bowl of the1930’s, wind erosion of rangeland and cropland reached an annual peak of 20 million hectares while the entire area affected encompassed almost 40 million hectares. In 2003, the estimated erosion on cropland due to wind was 776 million tons per year. This book chapter describes the erosion process and the on-site and off-site effects of wind erosion. After the wind exceeds the threshold wind velocity, soil particles or small stable aggregates begin to move in three primary ways or modes of transport: creep, saltation, and suspension. Creep particles roll or are nudged across the soil surface. Particles in saltation hop or bounce along the soil surface while suspended particles are very small and can travel great distances in the wind. The chapter also describes a variety of management practices that can be used on cropped land to reduce or eliminate wind erosion.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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