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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370429

Research Project: Uncertainty of Future Water Availability Due to Climate Change and Impacts on the Long Term Sustainability and Resilience of Agricultural Lands in the Southern Great Plains

Location: Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research

Title: Targeted control of sand hazards for a railway in extremely arid regions using fingerprinting approaches

Author
item NIU, BAICHENG - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item TAN, LIHAI - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item Zhang, Xunchang
item QU, JIANJUN - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item AN, ZHISHAN - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item WANG, JUNZHAN - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item LIU, BENLI - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item WANG, TAO - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item LI, KAICHONG - Chinese Academy Of Sciences

Submitted to: Geomorphology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2020
Publication Date: 4/25/2020
Citation: Niu, B., Tan, L., Zhang, X.J., Qu, J., An, Z., Wang, J., Liu, B., Wang, T., Li, K. 2020. Targeted control of sand hazards for a railway in extremely arid regions using fingerprinting approaches. Geomorphology. 361. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2020.107189Get rights and content.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2020.107189

Interpretive Summary: Reliable quantitative information on sediment sources is a key for the reasonable arrangement of targeted measures that effectively control hazards of wind erosion along the railway in extremely arid regions. In northwest China, the Golmud-Korla Railway suffers from serious wind-blown sand hazards, which severely affects its safe operation. This study applied two frequently used fingerprinting methods to quantitatively examine the contributions of different sediment sources to the railway at two typical areas of R1 and R2. The results revealed that Nebkha on Dry playa was the main sediment sources for the railway (46.5%) in R1, followed by Dry playa (37.7%) and then Dune 1 (15.8%). On the contrary, the Dune 2 was the main sediment source for the railway (75.2%) in R2, followed by Gobi (12.9%) and Low coarse sand sheet (LCSS) (11.9%), respectively. According to the comprehensive assessment, the sand-fixing measure of springing salt lake to form a salt crust for Nebkha is recommended, and the sand-fixing measure of the large reed rod grids (15 m×15 m×1.5 m in volume) is suggested to control the erosion of Dry playa near the railway and to trap the eroded sand from the upwind direction in R1. In R2, the small reed rod check-board barrier (1 m × 1 m × 0.2 m) is suggested for Dune 2 to effectively prohibit drifting sand endangering to the railway. The results would be useful to Chinese railroad agency to effectively control wind-blown sand along the railroad. This approach can be used to determine sediment sources in dryland areas of the LTAR network.

Technical Abstract: Reliable quantitative information on sediment sources is a key for the reasonable arrangement of targeted measures that effectively control hazards of wind erosion along the railway in extremely arid regions. In northwest China, the Golmud-Korla Railway suffers from serious wind-blown sand hazards, which severely affects its safe operation. This study applied two frequently-used fingerprinting methods to quantitatively examine the contributions of different sediment sources to the railway at two typical areas (Research area 1 and 2: R1 and R2). The results revealed that Nebkha on Dry playa was the main sediment sources for the railway (46.5%) in R1, followed by Dry playa (37.7%) and then Dune 1 (15.8%). On the contrary, the Dune 2 was the main sediment source for the railway (75.2%) in R2, followed by Gobi (12.9%) and Low coarse sand sheet (LCSS) (11.9%), respectively. According to the comprehensive assessment, the sand-fixing measure of springing salt lake brine to form a crust for Nebkha is recommended, and the sand-fixing measure of the high large reed rod grids (15 m×15 m×1.5 m in volume) is suggested to control the erosion of Dry playa near the railway and to sink the eroded sand from the upwind direction in R1. In R2, the small reed rod check-board barrier (1 m × 1 m × 0.2 m) is suggested for Dune 2 to effectively prohibit drifting sand endangering to the railway. In addition, this study also indicates that when two or more sediment sources have relatively similar properties, the application of the pairwise test for Kruskal-Wallis H-test to select tracers with significant differences between two sediment sources will help to reduce uncertainty, which is recommended in future studies.