Articles | Volume 18, issue 10
Research article
31 May 2018
Research article |  | 31 May 2018

Turbulent characteristics of saltation and uncertainty of saltation model parameters

Dongwei Liu, Masahide Ishizuka, Masao Mikami, and Yaping Shao

Abstract. It is widely recognised that saltation is a turbulent process, similar to other transport processes in the atmospheric boundary layer. Due to a lack of high-frequency observations, the statistic behaviour of saltation is so far not well understood. In this study, we use the data from the Japan–Australia Dust Experiment (JADE) to investigate the turbulent characteristics of saltation by analysing the probability density function, energy spectrum and intermittency of saltation fluxes. Threshold friction velocity, u*t, and saltation coefficient, c0, are two important parameters in saltation models often assumed to be deterministic. As saltation is turbulent in nature, we argue that it is more reasonable to consider them as parameters obeying certain probability distributions. We estimate these distributions using the JADE data. The factors contributing to the stochasticity of u*t and c0 are examined.

Short summary
This work is on saltation (sand motion). Most earlier studies considered only the mean features rather than the turbulent characteristics of saltation. Related to this are uncertainties in saltation model parameters. We study these issues using field measurements. We analyse saltation intermittency and spectrum and estimate the probabilistic distribution of model parameters. This work is part of our effort to develop a more general saltation model.
Final-revised paper