Sand flux in the northern Chihuahuan desert, New Mexico, USA, and the influence of mesquite-dominated landscapes

TitleSand flux in the northern Chihuahuan desert, New Mexico, USA, and the influence of mesquite-dominated landscapes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsGillette D.A, Pitchford A.M.
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume109
Date Published2004
Accession NumberJRN00417
KeywordsChihuahuan Desert, desert vegetation, dust emissions, journal article, mesquite, sand flux, sand transport
Abstract

Measurements of sand flux over areas with different vegetation in the Chihuahuan desert show that mean, height-integrated, horizontal flux values for mesquite-dominated sites were higher than those for other kinds of vegetation. Sand transport over mesquite areas displayed seasonal variability for most years. This seasonal variability roughly followed the variability of strong winds. Sand transport rates for collectors within a short distance downwind of mesquite bushes were small compared to those for collectors at the end of streets (elongated patches of bare soil) aligned with wind direction. The increased rate of sand transport (wind erosion) associated with mesquite is important because mesquite-dominated areas are increasing in the northern Chihuahuan desert and are therefore responsible for increasing land degradation (desertification).

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DOI10.1029/2003JF000031