American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

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Sand Transport and Abrasion within Simulated Standing Vegetation

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 60(3): 791-802 . (doi: 10.13031/trans.11878) @2017
Authors:   Howell B. Gonzales, Mark E. Casada, Lawrence J. Hagen, John Tatarko, Ronaldo G. Maghirang
Keywords:   Abrasion energy, Sand discharge, Standing vegetation, Threshold wind velocity, Wind erosion.


Crop residues help protect topsoil from depletion and abrasion due to wind erosion. Limited studies have focused on the type and orientation of canopies that help minimize the effects of erosion by wind. In this study, a series of wind tunnel experiments was conducted to measure sand transport and abrasion energies within simulated standing vegetation. Wind speed profiles, relative abrasion energies, and rates of sand discharge were evaluated during 3 min test runs at two different vegetation heights (150 and 220 mm) for each of three densities of simulated vegetation (i.e., 100 x 200 mm, 200 x 200 mm, and 300 x 200 mm spacing). Tests were also conducted for a bare sand surface. As expected, vegetation density was directly related to threshold velocity and inversely related to sand discharge. The densest configuration (i.e., 100 x 200 mm spacing) increased the threshold velocity of bare sand from 5.9 to 10 m s-1. The presence of vegetation was found to be effective in minimizing the abrasion experienced by the standing vegetation models by lowering the saltation of sand particles that could impact the simulated plants. The coefficient of abrasion (Can), a measure of kinetic energy via the impact of saltating particles, was affected by saltation discharge, although this did not depend on wind speed. The values of Can for all configurations were significantly different (p < 0.05) from the bare sand surface .

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