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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 Title: Estimating potential wind erosion of agricultural lands in northern China using the Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ) and GIS

Authors
item Guo, Zhongling -
item Zobeck, Teddy
item Zhang, Keli -
item Li, Feng -

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 16, 2012
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Citation: Guo, Z., Zobeck, T.M., Zhang, K., Li, F. 2013. Estimating potential wind erosion of agricultural lands in northern China using the Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ) and GIS. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 68(1):13-21.

Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion is an important environmental issue in northern China. However, no studies have determined how different cropping systems affect wind-induced soil erosion. In this study, we use a wind erosion model combined with regional-scale geographic information models to determine wind erosion potential for various cropping system scenarios. The results identified the Horqin Sands, Hunshan Dake Sands and Mu Us Sands as the areas with the highest wind erosion potential. The results further showed that most croplands in northern China would suffer severe wind erosion if no effective wind erosion control measures were taken. Conservation tillage, no tillage after harvesting and retaining crops residues until sowing season in the following year, produced the least wind erosion. Shrub barriers reduced wind erosion effectively, but irrigation twice per year could not reduce the wind erosion level appreciably. Even though combinations of conservation tillage, wind barriers, and irrigation could greatly reduce wind erosion, most farmlands are still at the risk of degradation in this region of China.

Technical Abstract: Fine materials emissions from severe wind-induced soil erosion have multiple impacts on land degradation and environmental pollution in the agro-pastoral ecotone in northern China (APEC). Assessment of wind erosion for the agricultural land management systems in APEC are needed to determine which systems are most sustainable. In this study, the Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ) with a geographic information system method has been applied to estimate alternative wind erosion control measure scenarios. Simulation results of alternative agricultural land management scenarios for the period 2000–2008 indicated that the most severe potential wind eroded areas were scattered in the Horqin Sands, Hunshan Dake Sands and Mu Us Sands. The scenarios results further showed that most croplands in the APEC would suffer severe wind erosion if no effective measures were implemented. The results further indicated that conservation tillage, no tillage after harvesting and retaining crops residues until sowing season in the following year produced the most favorable impact on reducing wind erosion. Shrub barriers reduced wind erosion effectively, but irrigation twice per year could not reduce the wind erosion level markedly in the APEC. Even though combinations of conservation tillage, wind barriers, and irrigation could greatly reduce wind erosion, most farmlands are still at the risk of degradation in the APEC.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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