Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Observation of saltation activity at Tazhong area in Taklimakan Desert, China


A two-year field observation of saltation activity was carried out at Tazhong area, the hinterland area of the Taklimakan Desert with highly frequent dust storms. From 1 September 2008 to 31 August 2010, a piezoelectric saltation sensor (Sensit) was used to continuously collect the data on saltation activity at a level sand surface. Analysis on the data suggests that saltation activity can occur at any time of the year when conditions are favorable; however, the necessary conditions are rarely satisfied in most time. In the daytime of spring or summer, saltation activity can persist even over a continuous one-hour-or-so period. It is found that, from 1 September 2008 to 31 August 2010, saltation activity accounts for more than 3% of the total yearly time, and it tends to peak in spring and summer months with strong winds. During winter months when winds are weak, however, it is often at a minimum. It seems that precipitation does not appear to be significant in reducing saltation activity in arid regions like Tazhong.

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