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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: Wind Erosion Quantity and Quality of an Entic Haplustoll of the Semi-Arid Pampas of Argentina

Authors
item Buschiazzo, Daniel - INTA, ARGENTINA
item Zobeck, Teddy
item Abascal, Sergio - FACULTAD DE AGRONOMIA, AR

Submitted to: Journal of Arid Environments
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 29, 2006
Publication Date: January 1, 2007
Citation: Buschiazzo, D.E., Zobeck, T.M., Abascal, S.A. 2007. Wind erosion quantity and quality of an entic Haplustoll of the semi-arid Pampas of Argentina. Journal of Arid Environments. 69:29-39.

Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion is an important process that greatly reduces soil quality in the semiarid Pampa of Argentina, but no attempts have been made to predict wind erosion in this region. One limitation for the use of wind erosion prediction models is the lack of reliable climatic data. As an effort to apply wind erosion models in this region, we compared field wind erosion measurements carried out during 4 years in a bare soil reference plot and during 3 years in the same soil with different soil management conditions: conventional-tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT), with wind erosion predicted with: 1) a USDA model called the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) and another USDA model called the Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ), for which the weather data of each single dust storm were used, and 2) the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) which was designed to predict wind erosion for longer periods of time and for which long term weather records (1961-2004) were used. Wind erosion field measurements were carried out with field dust samplers in 1 hectare plots. Neither WEPS nor RWEQ predicted low amounts of soil erosion that occurred in CT and NT (3.86 kg/m in average) for storms lasting approximately 24 hours. High live plant or dead plant soil coverage as well as high ridges in the direction of tillage eliminated erosion according to WEPS and RWEQ. WEPS and RWEQ predictions were related with field data obtained in the reference but both models underestimated wind erosion by 40 to 45%. WEQ predictions generally agreed with measured erosion for 16 rotation periods either when using a climatic C factor value of 92, corresponding to the 1961-2004 period or a C factor value of 80, corresponding to the moister 1985-2004 period. These results indicated that WEQ can be used as a reliable prediction model for long term predictions of wind erosion in the semiarid Pampas, even when run with limited available climatic data for this region.

Technical Abstract: Wind erosion is an important soil degradation process in the semiarid Pampa of Argentina, but no attempts have been made to predict the process in this region. One limitation for the use of wind erosion prediction models is the lack of reliable climatic data. As an effort to apply wind erosion models, we compared field wind erosion measurements carried out during 4 years in a bare soil reference plot (RP) and during 3 years in the same soil with different tillage conditions: conventional- (CT) and no-till (NT), with wind erosion predicted with: 1) subroutines for single storm event versions of the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) and the Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ), for which the climatic data of each single storm were used, and 2) the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) for full rotation periods, for which long term climatic records (1961-2004) were used. Wind erosion field measurements were carried out with BSNE samplers in 1 ha plots. Neither WEPS nor RWEQ predicted low amounts of soil erosion that occurred in CT and NT (3.86 kg/m in average) for storms lasting approximately 24 h. High plant or residue soil coverage as well as high oriented surface roughness eliminated erosion according to WEPS and RWEQ. Regression of WEPS (y = 0.5192 x + 0.0589, R2 = 0.89) and RWEQ (y = 0.5691 x – 7.071, R2 = 0.90) predictions with field data obtained in RP (54.51 kg/m on average) were highly significant, but both models underestimated wind erosion by 40 to 45%. Predictions made with RWEQ were highly sensitive to variations in the soil crusting factor (SCF), varying from 60.5 t/m when predictions for a single storm were made using the SCF default data to 699 kg/m when SCF was deduced from visual field observations. WEQ predictions agreed adequately with measured erosion for 16 rotation periods either when using a climatic C factor value of 92, corresponding to the 1961-2004 period (y = 0.9422x – 1.9248, R2 = 0.96) or a C factor value of 80, corresponding to the moister 1985-2004 period (y = 0.7612x - 1.5543, R2 = 0.96). These results indicated that WEQ can be used as a reliable prediction model for long term predictions of wind erosion in the semiarid Pampas, even when run with limited available climatic data for this region.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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