12 Sep 2022
12 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Characteristics of Aeolian sediments transported above a gobi surface

Zhengcai Zhang, Yan Zhang, and Kaijia Pan Zhengcai Zhang et al.
  • Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Eco-environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

Abstract. Most previous studies of aeolian sediment transport have focused on shifting sand surfaces. As a result, sediment transport above gobi (gravel) surfaces is still poorly understood. In this field study, we quantified this transport to provide important support for parameterizing aeolian sediment transport models. We found that the relationship between the Sorensen horizontal sediment transport (Qs) and shear velocity (u*) could be expressed as Qs = ρau*3 ⁄ g(1−u*t2 u*2)(α+γu*t u*u*t2/u*2), where α = –127.4, β = 714.4, and γ = 737.0. The relationship between the vertical sediment transport (F) and shear velocity could be expressed as Fd = CKρa (u*2u*2), where CK = 0.75. Although Q and F on gobi surfaces can be expressed similarly to previous results (i.e., similar equation forms), the coefficients were much larger than those for a shifting sand surface; that is, sediment transport was higher above the gobi. This difference resulted from the larger sand transport rate and saltation height above a gobi surface, and the larger transport and higher saltation height were related to gravel cover and soil crusts on the gobi surface.

Zhengcai Zhang et al.

Status: open (until 24 Oct 2022)

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Zhengcai Zhang et al.

Zhengcai Zhang et al.


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Short summary
In this study, we measured sediment transport by the wind above gobi surfaces in the field, and found high sand transport rates and saltation (hopping) heights above the gobi surfaces. The change of the transport rate with height could be expressed as a Gaussian peak function. The observed sediment transport results from the nature of the gravel surface and from soil crusts, which cause higher saltation above a gobi surface than above mobile sand.