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Wind erosion in the Central Ebro Basin under changing land use management. Field experiments with a small, portable wind tunnel

Fister, Wolfgang and Ries, Johannes Bernhard. (2009) Wind erosion in the Central Ebro Basin under changing land use management. Field experiments with a small, portable wind tunnel. Journal of Arid Environments, 73 (11). pp. 996-1004.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/45467/

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Abstract

The agricultural landscape in the semi-arid central Ebro Basin is changing from dry farming towards land abandonment. This study aims to describe quantitatively the influence of this land use change onto wind erosion susceptibility in this region. Additionally, the effects of tillage operations on wind erosion rates were evaluated. A portable wind tunnel was used to assess the relative sediment loss rates at three test sites near Zaragoza. Three different land use systems varying in crust disturbance level were investigated – (1) fallow land with undisturbed physical soil crusts, (2) simulated sheep trampling and (3) conventional tillage (dry farming). The results show that simulations on undisturbed crusted soils produce little soil loss. Consequently, wind erosion can be considered as negligible on these surfaces. Simulated sheep trampling during wind tunnel test runs produce 10 times higher sediment losses than simulations on undisturbed crusted soils. Highest sediment losses (50 times) were observed from rolled surfaces. Because of the ongoing extensification process, the distributions of physical soil crusts will most probably further increase. According to the results, this would lead to a reduction of wind erosion susceptibility in the central Ebro Basin depending on intensity and time of sheep pasturing and tillage.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geographie > Physiogeographie und Umweltwandel (Kuhn)
UniBasel Contributors:Fister, Wolfgang
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1095-922X
e-ISSN:0140-1963
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:30 Nov 2017 15:11
Deposited On:29 Nov 2017 09:08

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