Vegetative Roughness Controls on Aeolian Sediment Transport

Affiliation(s)PIProject periodFunded by
DAS Gillies, John A 09/01/2008 - 08/31/2011 National Science Foundation

Project Description

The primary goal of the proposed study is to more fully investigate how changes in plant community structure, resulting from the environmental pressures of the seasonal wind erosion period, affects the magnitude and spatial variability of sand transport by wind. To date, few studies have attempted to measure and model sediment transport by wind in complex sparsely vegetated communities, which dominate extensive areas of semi-arid landscapes in many areas of the world. To achieve the above-stated goal the following hypotheses have been developed to focus on key knowledge gaps in our understanding of how plants affect the transport of sand by wind in desert and semi-arid environments, which in turn can direct the landscape evolution. In the case of the Jornada del Muerto plain, grasslands are degrading and coppice dune areas are expanding.