Field measurements of the sheltering effect of vegetation on erodible land surfaces

TitleField measurements of the sheltering effect of vegetation on erodible land surfaces
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsStockton P.H, Gillette D.A
JournalLand Degradation and Rehabilitation
Date Published1990
Accession NumberJRN00124
Call Number00814
Keywordsaeolian processes, degradation, aeolian processes, desertification, aeolian processes, thresholds, aeolian processes,vegetation effects, article, articles, desert winds, desertification, aeolian processes, Geomet, journal, journals, vegetation, wind erosion, wind erosion, vegetation

Natural vegetation on erodible land surfaces, such as the loose sandy soils found in the southwestern United States and in Soviet Central Asia, absorbs part of the wind momentum flux (stress) and thus protects the erodible soil to a degree that depends on the geometry of plant distribution and profile. The sheltering effect of natural plants may be expressed as the ration, R, of threshold friction velocity for the bare soil (determined in the laboratory or in specially prepared areas of bare soil in the field) to that for the naturally vegetated surfaced. We used new automated instrumentation to detect erosion thresholds in locations where erosion events are widely separated in time. Measured values of R were low for our most vegetated sites and nearer unity for the sparsely vegetated site.

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