Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317188

Research Project: Integration of Site-Specific Crop Production Practices and Industrial and Animal Agricultural Byproducts to Improve Agricultural Competitiveness and Sustainability

Location: Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research

Title: Wind erosion of cropland in the northwestern Tarim Basin

Author
item ZHENG, Z - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item Feng, Gary
item Sharratt, Brenton
item LI, X - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item PI, H - Chinese Academy Of Sciences

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2016
Publication Date: 4/29/2016
Citation: Zheng, Z., Feng, G.G., Sharratt, B.S., Li, X., Pi, H. 2016. Wind erosion of cropland in the northwestern Tarim Basin. Soil Science Society of America Journal. doi: 10.2136/sssaj2015.07.0259.

Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion was assessed from contrasting agricultural land use types in the northwestern Taklimakan Desert. High winds generally occurred in late afternoon and immediately after the occurrence of the daytime maximum air temperature. Sediment loss from the cotton field and red date orchard during high winds was relatively small compared with sediment loss measured in other parts of the world. These results are consistent with Shao and Wang (2003) who found that dust storms are relatively weak in the Tarim Basin. The contribution of sediment loss from agricultural lands to the atmospheric dust load and poor air quality in the Tarim Basin necessitates development and implementation of control practices to reduce sediment loss. Thus, additional research is needed to determine the efficiencies of management practices in conserving the soil resource.

Technical Abstract: The Aksu region within the Tarim Basin is a major source of windblown dust due to aridity and vast areas under intensive irrigated crop production. Despite the importance of crop production to the local economy and sustenance, little is known about the amount of soil eroded by wind from agricultural lands in the region. Passive Aeolian sediment collectors were used to measure soil loss from an irrigated cotton field and red date orchard in the Aksu Oasis during high wind events in 2012 and 2013. Mass of sediment trapped by the collectors changed exponentially as a function of height above the surface in the cotton field and red date orchard. Soil loss from the cotton field ranged from 0 to 142 gm-2 whereas soil loss from the red date orchard ranged from 0 to 71 g m-2 for single or multiple day high wind events. Total soil loss from the cotton field and red date orchard were respectively 153 and 113 g m-2 in 2012 and 282 and 148 g m-2 in 2013. Soil loss was similar to that reported for the Columbia Plateau of the Pacific Northwest United Sates. Although soil loss is relatively small compared to other regions of the world, poor air quality in the Tarim Basin necessitates identifying crop and soil management practices for reducing windblown dust and conserving the soil resource.