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Study on Distribution of Wind-Eroded Sediment Above Bare Furrows Based on the Principle of Maximum Entropy

Zou, Chunxia1; Shen, Xiangdong1; Li, Hongyun1; Li, Xiazi1,2; Buchan, Graeme D.3

doi: 10.1097/SS.0b013e31827ddf2c
Technical Article

Wind erosion has become a very serious environmental, agricultural, and social problem in arid and semiarid regions such as the agro-pastoral ecotone, North China. Wind erosion is caused by near-surface interaction of wind turbulence and soil particles. Numerous factors influence it, such as wind velocity, precipitation, and temperature; their interplay contributes to the complex height variation of wind turbulence and particle distribution. To determine the spatial distribution of the saltation particles, we used a field experiment using a passive sediment collector and a laboratory experiment using a push-type wind tunnel coupled with particle composition measurements. Based on the principle of maximum entropy, a new model is proposed to describe the distribution of saltation particles moved by wind turbulence. By comparing the model results with both the field experimental data and the data from the indoor wind tunnel, the model was validated. The results showed that the maximum entropy principle is suitable to model the processes governing sediment particle density and lays a solid foundation to describe the coupling dynamics of wind-sand movement.

1Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot, China.

2Inner Mongolia Weather Bureau, Hohhot, China.

3Soil & Physical Sciences Department, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Address for correspondence: Dr. Chunxia Zou, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot, China 010018. E-mail:

Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 10262001 and by the Major Project Earlier Research Foundation of the National Science and Technology, China, under Grant No. 2002ccc03400. It is also partly supported by the Advanced University Science Foundation of Inner Mongolia under Grant No. NJzy08044 and by the PhD Foundation of Inner Mongolia Agricultural University under Grant No. BJ07-27.

Received May 9, 2012.

Accepted for publication November 13, 2012.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.