Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/28/2003
Publication Date: 10/7/2004
Citation: Zobeck, T.M., Van Pelt, R.S. 2004. Soil management and conservation: Erosion: Wind erosion. Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment. p. 470-478. Interpretive Summary: INTERPRETIVE SUMMARY NOT REQUIRED
Technical Abstract: This manuscript is a chapter for the Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment on Wind Erosion. The chapter includes discussion of the wind profile, modes of particle transportation, soil surface conditions, effect of vegetation, wind erosion modeling, sampling, use of radioisotope tracers to estimate wind erosion, on-site and off-site effects of wind erosion, and wind erosion control. Wind erosion is a dynamic physical process that leads to soil degradation that occurs when strong wind blow on loose, dry, bare soils. Fine, fertile soil particles are often removed during wind erosion, reducing soil productivity and causing significant on-site and off-site problems. The wide-spread social and economic hardships that occurred in the US during the disastrous Dust Bowl days of the 1930s were caused primarily by wind erosion on cropland. Much progress has been made in reducing the effects wind erosion in the US through soil conservation efforts made by individual land owners with the technical assistance of the USDA, NRCS. However, wind erosion continues as a national problem. Dust clouds still may be seen in many parts of the US. Studies by the NRCS in 1997 show that wind causes about 44 percent of the 1.9 billion tons per year of soil lost from US cropland by water and wind erosion. In this chapter we explore the causes, effects, and control of wind erosion.