Soil movement in mesquite dunelands and former grasslands of southern New Mexico from 1933 to 1980

TitleSoil movement in mesquite dunelands and former grasslands of southern New Mexico from 1933 to 1980
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1983
AuthorsGibbens, Robert P., Tromble J.M., Hennessy J.T., Cardenas M.
JournalJournal of Range Management
Volume36
Pagination145-148
Date PublishedMarch 1, 1983
Abstract

Soil levels were marked on grid and transect stakes in mesquite duneland and grassland areas at 3 sites on the Jornada Experimental Range in 1933 and 1935. Soil levels on one set of transect stakes were remeasured in 1950 and 1955. Remeasurement of soil levels at both transect and grid stakes in 1980 revealed that extensive soil movement had occurred during the intervening years. On a 259-ha site containing large mesquite dunes in 1935, maximum deposition and deflation was 86.9 and 64.6 cm, respectively, in 1980. There was a net gain of 1.9 cm in soil depth over the entire area. On a 259-ha site only partially occupied by mesquite dunes in 1933, there was a net loss of 4.6 cm in soil depth and mesquite dunes had completely occupied the site by 1980. On a transect established across a mesquite duneland-grassland ecotone in 1935, there was a net loss in soil depth of 3.4 cm. Mesquite dunes had completely occupied the former grassland and dune intercept increased from 34.9 m in 1935 to 149.6 m in 1980. Gross erosion rates on wind deflated areas were equivalent to 69 tonnes ha-1 yr-1 on the area of large mesquite dunes. On the area partially occupied by mesquite in 1935 the gross erosion rate was 52 tonnes ha-1 yr-1. At the ecotone transect gross erosion rates were 45, 101, and 40 tonnes ha-1 yr-1 for 1935-50, 1950-55, and 1955-80 periods, respectively.

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