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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mechanics, Measurement and Modeling of Wind Erosion

Author
item Fryrear, Donald

Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 16, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Estimating soil movement by wind is now possible because of basic research conducted over 50 years ago, development of accurate field erosion measuring equipment, and modern computer technology. These advancements coupled with resources to collect and process literally thousands of samples allow erosion scientists to test and verify that advanced erosion estimate methods are correct.

Technical Abstract: Basic research on relationships between wind erosion mechanics and soil movement was conducted over fifty years ago. These relationships coupled with field erosion measuring equipment permit the verification of erosion models. Transport rates of 1231 kg/m-width of airborne soil have been measured from a single storm from a 2.5 ha circular field. Average soil losses of 7.81 kg/m^2 from the 2.5 ha field were measured. Soil losses for an entire erosion season varied from 0.3 to 20.4 kg/m^2 compared to erosion losses estimated with the Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ) of 0.3 to 22.9 kg/m^2 for fields 2.5 to 145 ha in size. The RWEQ is an empirical model requiring simple input data for soils, tillage, and crops. Physically based models including the Wind Erosion Prediciton System (WEPS) and the Wind Erosion Assessment Model (WEAM) are under development, but the input data requirements will be much more extensive. When current models are fully operational, the user may select the most appropriate model to fit their objectives.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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