A study on the wind erosion potential of agricultural lands after crop harvesting (Case study: Damghan Region)

Authors

1 International Research Center for Living with Desert, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 RS & GIS Dept., Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Natural Geography Dept., Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Aeolian process and subsequently soil erosion are key factors in dryland environments. Such phenomena are related not only to geoecological factors (lithology, topography, and climatology) but also to land-use and plant cover changes. Formation of new sand dunes in Damghan explains the development of human activities over the past. The aim of this study is to explain the land use changes and their contributions and impacts on Aeolian sediments in Damghan Region. The study was carried out using topographic and geologic maps, satellite imagery, aerial photographs, meteorological data, field observation and samplings. According to meteorological data, period of strong winds (May to Jun) were identified. This period is wind activity period. So, based on this period, unprotected soil surface by crop residues with the interpretation of satellite images was determined. The field samples were carried out from May to June 2008 when the wind was active. The study methods include sieving soil granulometry, and analyzing the particle size. Granulometric analyses were performed using conventional dry sieve method. The results of statistical analysis of grain size distribution showed that the mean and median of particle size were composed of coarse and very coarse sand particles. The study indicated that 90% of the agricultural lands contained more than 23% soil aggregates, where in areas with sensitive particles to erosion the Figure was 35%.  It can be argued that agricultural land in study area are resistant to wind erosion.

Keywords


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