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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Research Project #436303

Research Project: Assessing the Utility of Soil Albedo as an Integrated Predictor of Aeolian Sediment Transport Potential

Location: Range Management Research

Project Number: 3050-11210-009-12-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Nov 16, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2020

1. The first objective is to conduct fieldwork to measure incoming and outgoing reflectance (albedo), surface soil conditions, sediment mass flux, and wind velocity profiles to establish soil surface aerodynamic properties at the USDA ARS Jornada Experimental Range. A network of Irwin pressure sensors, calibrated to calculate surface shear stress, will be installed on two USDA-managed erosion monitoring sites in the Jornada Basin of New Mexico. These measurements will be used to establish modeled relationships between albedo and surface shear stress. 2. The second objective is to calculate surface aerodynamic properties using data collected in Objective 1. Reflectance (albedo) measurements will be corrected for illumination conditions and evaluated for sensitivity to soil surface conditions. These will be used to establish relationships between albedo and soil surface parameters; and 3. Use the established relationships to model sediment mass flux and compare to actual measured flux. The ability of the modeled relationships to predict sediment flux will be evaluated.

1. Install field site instrumentation on the Jornada Experimental Range; 2. Conduct regular equipment maintenance as needed; 3. Provide CRREL with access to sensor data; 4. With CRREL, uphold a communications protocol for working at the Jornada Experimental Range; 5. Be responsible for removing all equipment at the end of the instruments’ life cycle; 6. Collect measurements of local dust emission, reflectance, and various meteorological measurements; 7. Jointly conduct a comprehensive analysis modeled relationships between albedo and surface aerodynamic properties with CRREL; and 8. Jointly assess the modeled relationships and their ability to predict sediment mass flux with CRREL.