Journal of Arid Land


The grain size composition, distribution characteristics and spatial variation of eolian sand soil on distinct positions across two longitudinal dunes and interdune areas were studied by means of conventional grain size analysis and geostatistical methods. In the study, 184 samples of eolian sand soil from the 0-30cm layer were systemically collected and measured from two longitudinal dunes and interdunes in the southern Gurbantunggut Desert. The results show that the dominant grain sizes are fine and very fine sands, and the differences of grain size compositions between the distinct geomorphologic positions are significant. The contents of clay and silt are highest on the interdune areas and lowest on the crests, and higher on the leeward slopes than on the windward slopes. The contents of very fine and fine sands are highest on the windward slopes and lowest on the crests. The contents of medium, coarse and very coarse sands are lowest on the interdune lands, and highest on the crests, and are identical on the two slopes. The coarser sizes (φ1) and mean sizes (Mz) for eolian sand soil all have a varying tendency from fine to coarse sizes with interdune area → leeward slope → windward slope → crest, and the sorting (σ) are poorly to well sorted. The results of geostatistical analysis reveal that φ1, Mz and σ values are moderately to strongly spatially autocorrelated. The values of the spatially correlated ranges are φ1<σ<Mz. The spatial variation for these grain size parameters is significant across the longitudinal dune landscape. From the crests towards the bottom of the slope, there is a varying gradient of zonal distribution, and the gradient values on the leeward slopes are larger than sites on the windward slopes.


grain size distribution, spatial variation, geostatistical analysis, longitudinal dune, the southern Gurbantunggut Desert

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