Vegetation can help prevent soil erosion due to wind

January 20, 2015, Wiley

Dust from soil erosion due to wind can affect human health, traffic, and, on a larger scale, climate.

Investigators compared different models that quantify how the wind energy spreads over an herbaceous surface using data from the Sahel region of Africa, where estimates of remain uncertain.

They found that the modeling tools give results in reasonable agreement, indicating that vegetation can decrease the amount of dust emitted from by 6% to 26% in mass compared with bare soil.

"This study is a step towards a better quantification of dust emissions in the Sahel, where wind erosion can be a major issue," said Dr. Caroline Pierre, lead author of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface study.

"The importance of such work is reinforced by the strong change in Sahelian land uses over the last decades."

Explore further: Trees are more efficient than shrubs in controlling aeolian erosion

More information: Pierre, C., G. Bergametti, B. Marticorena, L. Kergoat, E. Mougin, and P. Hiernaux (2014), Comparing drag partition schemes over a herbaceous Sahelian rangeland, J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 119, 2291-2313, DOI: 10.1002/2014JF003177

Related Stories

Soil carbon 'blowing in the wind'

August 2, 2013

Top soil is rich in nutrients and carbon but is increasingly being blown away by events such as the 'Red Dawn' in Sydney in 2009.

Loess landscapes could be major source of dust

September 3, 2013

Dust, which affects weather and climate and can be hazardous to health, can be generated when sand or silt grains are either dislodged from the surface by other windblown grains (saltation) or lifted by wind directly (direct ...

Growing camelina and safflower in the Pacific Northwest

May 16, 2014

A recent study published in Agronomy Journal provides information important to farmers growing oilseed crops. In the study, camelina and safflower were grown in three-year rotations with winter wheat and summer fallow. The ...

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

The taming of the light screw

March 22, 2019

DESY and MPSD scientists have created high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.