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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Interactions between wind and water erosion change sediment yield and particle distribution under simulated conditions

Abstract

Wind and water erosion are among the most important causes of soil loss, and understanding their interactions is important for estimating soil quality and environmental impacts in regions where both types of erosion occur. We used a wind tunnel and simulated rainfall to study sediment yield, particle-size distribution and the fractal dimension of the sediment particles under wind and water erosion. The experiment was conducted with wind erosion firstly and water erosion thereafter, under three wind speeds (0, 11 and 14 m/s) and three rainfall intensities (60, 80 and 100 mm/h). The results showed that the sediment yield was positively correlated with wind speed and rainfall intensity (P<0.01). Wind erosion exacerbated water erosion and increased sediment yield by 7.25%–38.97% relative to the absence of wind erosion. Wind erosion changed the sediment particle distribution by influencing the micro-topography of the sloping land surface. The clay, silt and sand contents of eroded sediment were also positively correlated with wind speed and rainfall intensity (P<0.01). Wind erosion increased clay and silt contents by 0.35%–19.60% and 5.80%–21.10%, respectively, and decreased sand content by 2.40%–8.33%, relative to the absence of wind erosion. The effect of wind erosion on sediment particles became weaker with increasing rainfall intensities, which was consistent with the variation in sediment yield. However, particle-size distribution was not closely correlated with sediment yield (P>0.05). The fractal dimension of the sediment particles was significantly different under different intensities of water erosion (P<0.05), but no significant difference was found under wind and water erosion. The findings reported in this study implicated that both water and wind erosion should be controlled to reduce their intensifying effects, and the controlling of wind erosion could significantly reduce water erosion in this wind-water erosion crisscross region.

Keywords

sediment yield; particle-size distribution; fractal dimension; wind and water erosion

First Page

590

Last Page

598

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