AERO: An Aeolian erosion modeling environment

TitleAERO: An Aeolian erosion modeling environment
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsEdwards B, McCord SE, Webb N, Stauffer NG
Conference NameInternational Conference on Aeolian Research
Date Published06/2018
Conference LocationBordeaux, France
ARIS Log Number358031

The Aeolian Erosion Model (AERO) is a versatile aeolian transport and dust emission modeling environment developed to provide a robust interface for fundamental research while also acting as a decision-support tool for land managers. The model simulates size-resolved horizontal and vertical mass flux on the plot scale from user inputs of meteorological, soil and vegetation data. AERO is highly customizable; the model can be run for a single set of conditions, a time series of conditions, conditions over space, or a time series of conditions over space. Drag partitioning, vertical dust emission schemes, and horizontal transport equations are user-selectable. Key variables (e.g., vegetation cover, canopy gap distribution, soil type) can be input as scalars, defined by descriptive statistics, supplied as probability distributions, or, when run spatially, as remote sensing-derived inputs and atmospheric data from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) weather prediction model. As such, the model is adaptable to many research and management applications over a range of site conditions. Here, we detail the model framework and processing options and provide an example of model application to U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) plots in New Mexico, USA to assess potential implications of management actions for dust emission rates. The test case demonstrates how the AERO model can leverage emerging large-scale ecological datasets like AIM to provide new opportunities to evaluate aeolian sediment transport responses to land surface conditions, potential interactions with disturbances and ecological change, and impacts of anthropogenic land use and land cover change.