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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #305817

Title: Soil wind erodibility based on dry aggregate-size distribution in the Tarim Basin

Author
item LI, XINHU - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item Feng, Gary
item Sharratt, Brenton
item ZHENG, ZEHAO - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item PI, HUAWEI - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item GAO, FEI - Chinese Academy Of Sciences

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2014
Publication Date: 11/11/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60145
Citation: Li, X., Feng, G.G., Sharratt, B.S., Zheng, Z., Pi, H., Gao, F. 2014. Soil wind erodibility based on dry aggregate-size distribution in the Tarim Basin. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 78:2009-2016.

Interpretive Summary: Soil aggregate size distribution was examined across six land use types in the Tarim Basin of western China. Analysis of the size distribution indicates a serious potential for wind erosion in the region. Suspension-sized aggregates (<100 µm in diameter) dominated the composition of the wind-erodible fraction of soils collected from all land use types. Of the six land use types, the dry river channel had the highest potential for suspension while the desert had the highest potential for saltation (aggregates 100-500 µm in diameter). The percentage of erodible fraction was significantly correlated with sand content. Potential soil loss was predicted to be greatest from the desert, dry river channel and forest sites and least from the wetland site. Fine suspension-sized aggregates <50 µm in diameter involved in long range transport ranged from 0.6 to 5.7% of the soil mass across the six land use types; this relatively high percentage of fine suspension-sized sediment suggests that the Tarim Basin is a potential source of atmospheric dust involved in transcontinental and transoceanic transport.

Technical Abstract: The Tarim Basin is an important source of airborne particulate matter that contributes to poor air quality in China. However, little attention has been given to estimating wind erodibility of soils in the region. The objective of this study was to determine the soil wind erodibility for six land use types in the Tarim Basin. Wind erodibility was determined from the dry aggregate size distribution of soils collected from desert, dry river channel, farmland, shrubland, forest and wetland environments. Our analysis revealed that the percentage of soil mass comprised of aggregates < 840 µm in diameter (erodible fraction) had a range from 5.2 to 99.9% and a mean value of 52.55% across land use types. Except for wet land, the other five land use types had a high content of erodible aggregates. The percentage of soil mass which was comprised of saltation-size (500-100 µm) and suspension-size material (<100 µm) was, respectively, 15.8 and 40.8% across land use types. The desert had the highest potential for saltation activity while the dry river channel had the highest potential for suspension. The erodible aggregate, saltation-size, and suspension-size fraction were correlated (R2=0.71, 0.44, and 0.52) with sand content; soils with higher sand content had a greater fraction of saltation-sized and suspension-sized aggregates. Our results suggest that all land use types examined in this study have potential to contribute to the atmospheric dust load in the Tarim Basin and to transcontinental and transoceanic transport of dust.