A simple method to estimate threshold friction velocity in the field

TitleA simple method to estimate threshold friction velocity in the field
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLi J, Okin GS, Herrick JE, Munson S.M., Miller M., Belnap J
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
ARIS Log Number253162

This study provides a fast and easy‐to‐apply method to estimate threshold friction velocity (TFV) of wind erosion in the field. Wind tunnel experiments and a variety of ground measurements including air gun, pocket penetrometer, torvane, and roughness chain were conducted in Moab, Utah and cross‐validated in the Mojave Desert, California. Patterns between TFV and ground measurements were examined to identify the optimum method for estimating TFV. The results show that TFVs were best predicted using the air gun and penetrometer measurements in the Moab sites. This empirical method, however, systematically underestimated TFVs in the Mojave Desert sites. Further analysis showed that TFVs in the Mojave sites can be satisfactorily estimated with a correction for rock cover, which is presumably the main cause of the underestimation of TFVs. The proposed method may be also applied to estimate TFVs in environments where other non‐erodible elements such as postharvest residuals are found.