Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2003, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (2): 201-208.doi: 10.11821/xb200302006

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Sand Harm in Taklimakan Desert Highway and Sand Control

HAN Zhiwen, WANG Tao, SUN Qingwei, DONG Zhibao, WANG Xunming   

  1. Laboratory of Blown Sand Physics and Desert Environment, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2002-07-18 Revised:2002-11-07 Online:2003-03-25 Published:2010-09-09
  • Supported by:

    The National Key Project for Basic Research, No.G2000048705; Knowledge Innovation Project of the Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, No.CACX210093


This paper gives an overall summary on recent progress in the control of sand drift damages in the Taklimakan Desert highway. The following theoretical research results and practical aspects in the prevention of sand drift encroachment on the cross-desert highway have been undertaken: (1) With start-up wind speed and sand-moving power as physical parameters to describe sand drift damages, a function relation between sand transport rate (Q) and threshold wind velocity for sand movement (V) has been established. (2) Sand dune migration rate varies between 3.33 and 10.87 ma-1 and shows a linear relation with height (H), base area (S) and volume (V) of sand dune, where D = a-bH, D = a-bS, D = a+bV-c and D = a-bS-cV. (3) Sand drift damages exhibit a horizontal and vertical differentiation law, from this the calculating formula of sand damage intensity and five different damage sections are identitied. (4) Wind tunnel experiments on the sand control mechanism and effect of three kinds of film-covered sand bag barriers with a penetrating coefficients of β = 10%, β = 20% and β = 40% and three kinds of upright reed fences of 2.5 × 2.5 m, 5 × 5 m and 10 × 10 m show that there exist a retarded circumfluence zone, a lift-accelerating zone and a back flow zone around the sand bodies protected by film-covered sand bag barriers; wind velocity at the front edge of upright grids gradually increases and becomes stable at a distance of 15-20 m from the fence; nylon net fence has sand diversion function, with an optimal porosity of 40-50%. (5) The burial rate of sand control system mainly depends on landform types and sites where the system lies, start-up wind speed and intersection angle of the fence etc.

Key words: Taklimakan Desert, cross-desert highway, blown sand hazards, control technique