Wind Erosion in Sparsely Vegetated Rangelands
University of Guelph, 2007 - 174 pages
Rice et al. (1997; 1999) developed a conceptual model describing the relationship between grain impact energy and the energy required to rupture the crust. Several studies have been conducted in laboratory wind tunnels testing this hypothesis, but few have been conducted in the field. The energy required to rupture these natural crusts was found to exceed the energy of any individual saltating grains, suggesting that the surface would be resistant to wind erosion. However, weak, statistically significant power relationships were found between crust strength and both the horizontal sand flux and the abrasion efficiency. To estimate the impact energy of the saltating grains, a numerical particle trajectory model was further developed and calibrated for use in this dissertation research.