Wind Tunnel Experiments on the Deflation Rates of Different Sediments in Arid Regions of China

  • 1. College of Resources Science and Technology; Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, the Ministry of Education of China, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China

Received date: 2006-01-19

  Revised date: 2006-03-20

  Online published: 2006-09-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40471014; Ministry of Science & Technology, No.2005BA517A-11


By the wind tunnel experiment, we studied the deflation rates of 8 different sediments in arid regions of China, discussed the sources of aeolian sand and its influence on the development of sand dunes and formation of desert from the view of dynamics of wind erosion. Results of the study indicated that the average deflation rates of 8 typical sediments in arid regions of China can be arranged down: lacustrine sand > alluvial sand > weathered particles developed from sandshale > pluvial sediments > fluvioglacial sand > weathered particles developed from granite > slope deposit > glacial sediments. The deflation rates exhibited strong positive correlations with the erodible fraction—sand (0.063-2mm) content and sorting features. In contrast, the deflation rates have obvious negative correlations with the silt clay (< 0.063 mm) and gravel (> 2 mm) content. According to the deflation rates, the 8 typical sediments can be divided into four categories: (1) lacustrine sand and alluvial sand, which are prone to wind erosion, and are the main sources of aeolian sand; (2) weathered particles developed from sandshale, pluvial sediments and fluvioglacial sand, with the larger deflation rates, being the minor source of aeolian sand; (3) weathered particles developed from granite and slope deposit having the smaller deflation rates, only providing a small amount of aeolian sand; and (4) glacial sediments with a strong anti-erodibility, hardly offering any aeolian sand. Other than the strong wind conditions, the exposure of extensive lacustrine sand induced by the desiccation of inland lake basin, as well as the pre-sorting of sediments by flowing water are key factors in the development of deserts in China. It is the possible reason that deserts in China are mostly distributed along the inland lake basin and riverbank in a material light.

Cite this article

LIU Lianyou,SONG Yang,LI Xiaoyan,WANG Jianhua,TUO Wanquan,LIU Yuzhang . Wind Tunnel Experiments on the Deflation Rates of Different Sediments in Arid Regions of China[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2006 , 61(9) : 957 -964 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200609007


[1] Wu Zheng. Aeolian Geomorphology. Beijing: Science Press, 1987. 2-6.
[吴正. 风沙地貌学. 北京: 科学出版社, 1987. 2-6.]

[2] Gao Shangyu, Chen Weinan, Jin Heling et al. Preliminary research on the desert evolution in northwest of monsoon region of China since Holocene. Science in China (Series B), 1993, 23(2): 202-208.
[高尚玉, 陈渭南, 靳鹤龄 等. 全新世中国季风区西北缘沙漠演化初步研究. 中国科学(B辑), 1993, 23(2): 202-208.]

[3] Petrof M П. The mineral element and origin of sand in the Ordos, east Alxa and middle valley of Huanghe River. Acta Geographica Sinica, 1959, 25(1): 1-20.
[彼得洛夫 M П. 鄂尔多斯、东阿拉善和黄河中游河谷沙子的矿物成分及其成因. 地理学报, 1959, 25(1): 1-20.]

[4] Sidorenko A B. The Origin and Research Method of Desert Geomorphology. Beijing: Science Press, 1962. 73-81.
[西多林科A B. 沙漠地貌的起源及其研究方法. 北京: 科学出版社, 1962. 73-81.]

[5] Lancaster N. Geomorphology of Desert Dunes. London: Routledge, 1995. 290.

[6] Pye K, Tsoar H. Aeolian Sand and Sand Dunes. London: Unwin Hyman, 1990. 369-396.

[7] Bagnold R A. The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1941. 264-268.

[8] Cooke R, Warren A, Goudie A. Desert Germorphology. UCL Press, 1993. 31-46.

[9] Chepil W S. Dynamics of wind erosion: I. nature of movement of soil by wind. Soil Science, 1945, 60(4): 305-320.

[10] Logie M. Wind-tunnel experiments on sand dunes. Earth Surface Processes, 1981, 6(3-4): 365-374.

[11] Embleton C, King C A M. Glacial Geomorphology. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1975. 55-69.

[12] Folk R L, Ward W C. Brazos river bar, a study in the significance of grain size parameters. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 1957, 27(1): 3-26.

[13] Dong Zhibao, Chen Weinan, Dong Guangrong et al. Quantitative relationship between soil erosion by wind and surface structure destruction. Chinese Science Bulletin, 1995, 40(1): 54-57.
[董治宝, 陈渭南, 董光荣 等. 关于人为地表结构破损与土壤风蚀关系的定量研究. 科学通报, 1995, 40(1): 54-57.]

[14] Dong Guangrong, Li Changzhi, Jin Jiong et al. Some results of wind tunnel experiment on wind erosion Chinese Science Bulletin, 1987, 32(4): 297-301.
[董光荣, 李长治, 金炯 等. 关于土壤风蚀风洞实验的某些结果.科学通报, 1987, 32(4): 297-301.]

[15] Wu Zheng, Ling Yuquan. Some rules of blown sand movement and the preliminary insight of blown sand control. Team of CAS on Blown Sand Control, Research on Blown Sand Control (No.7). Beijing: Science Press, 1965. 7-14.
[吴正, 凌裕泉. 风沙运动的若干规律及防止风沙危害问题的初步研究. 中国科学院治沙队. 治沙研究(第7号). 北京: 科学出版社, 1965. 7-14.]

[16] Liu Xianwan. Experimental Aeolian Physics and Technology. Beijing: Science Press, 1995. 43-50.
[刘贤万. 实验风沙物理与风沙工程学. 北京: 科学出版社, 1995. 43-50.]

[17] Gillette D A. Major contributions of natural primary continental aerosols: source mechanisms. In: Kneip T J, Lioy P J (eds.), Aerosols: Anthropogenic and Natural, Sources and Transport. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1980, 338: 348-358.

[18] Liu Lianyou, Wang Jianhua, Li Xiaoyan et al. Determination of erodible particles on cultivated soils by wind tunnel simulation. Chinese Science Bulletin, 1998, 43(19): 1646-1651.

[19] Chepil W S. Measurement of wind erosiveness of soils by the dry sieving procedure. Scientific Agriculture, 1942, 23 (3): 154-160.

[20] Skidmore E L, Powers D H. Dry soil-aggregate stability: energy-based index. Soil Science Society of American Journal, 1982, 46(6): 1274-1279.

[21] Pye K. Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposition. Academic Press, 1987. 68.

[22] Ding Zhongli, Sun Jimin, Liu Dongsheng. Sediment index of coupling relation during contacting desert-loess evolution. Science in China (Series D), 1999, 29(1): 82-87.
[丁仲礼, 孙继敏, 刘东生. 联系沙漠-黄土演变过程中耦合关系的沉积学指标. 中国科学(D辑), 1999, 29(1): 82-87.]