Journal of Arid Land

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 199–206 | Cite as

Near-surface sand-dust horizontal flux in Tazhong—the hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert

  • XingHua Yang
  • Qing He
  • Mamtimin Ali
  • Wen Huo
  • XinChun Liu


Tazhong is the hinterland and a sandstorm high-frequency area of the Taklimakan Desert. However, little is known about the detailed time-series of aeolian sand transport in this area. An experiment to study the sand-dust horizontal flux of near-surface was carried out in Tazhong from January to December 2009. By measuring the sand-dust horizontal flux throughout sixteen sand-dust weather processes with a 200-cm tall Big Spring Number Eight (BSNE) sampler tower, we quantitatively analyzed the vertical variation of the sand-dust horizontal flux. And the total sand-dust horizontal flux of different time-series that passed through a section of 100 cm in width and 200 cm in height was estimated combining the data of saltation movement continuously recorded by piezoelectric saltation sensors (Sensit). The results indicated that, in the surface layer ranging from 0–200 cm, the intensity of sand-dust horizontal flux decreased with the increase of the height, and the physical quantities obeyed power function well. The total sand-dust horizontal flux of the sixteen sand-dust weather processes that passed through a section of 100 cm in width and 200 cm in height was about 2,144.9 kg, the maximum of one sand-dust weather event was about 396.3 kg, and the annual total sand-dust horizontal flux was about 3,903.2 kg. The high levels of aeolian sand transport occurred during daytime, especially from 13:00 to 16:00 in the afternoon. We try to develop a new method for estimation of the detailed time-series of aeolian sand transport.


aeolian sand transport horizontal flux saltation movement Sensit Taklimakan Desert 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baas A C W. 2004. Evaluation of saltation flux impact responders (Safires) for measuring instantaneous aeolian sand transport intensity. Geomorphology, 59: 99–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bagnold R A. 1941. The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes. New York: Methuen.Google Scholar
  3. Bauer B O, Namikas S L. 1998. Design and field test of a continuously weighing, tipping-bucket assembly for aeolian sand traps. Earth Surface Processes Landforms, 23: 1173–1183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Butterfield G R. 1991. Grain transport rates in steady and unsteady turbulent airflows. Acta Mechanica, 1: 97–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen W, Yang Z, Zhang J, et al. 1996. Vertical distribution of wind-blown sand flux in the surface layer, Taklamakan Desert, Central Asia. Physical Geography, 17: 193–218.Google Scholar
  6. Chepil W S. 1946. Dynamics of wind erosion: V. Cumulative intensity of soil drifting across eroding fields. Soil Science, 61: 257–263.Google Scholar
  7. Davidson-arnott R G D, Mac-Quarrie K, Aagaard T. 2005. The effect of wind gusts, moisture content and fetch length on sand transport on a beach. Geomorphology, 68: 115–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dong Z B, Man D Q, Luo W Y, et al. 2010. Horizontal aeolian sediment flux in the Minqin area, a major source of Chinese dust storms. Geomorphology, 116: 58–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dong Z B, Qian G Q., Luo W Y, et al. 2006. Analysis of the mass flux profiles of an aeolian saltating cloud. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 111, D16111. doi: 10.1029/2005 JD006630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ellis J T, Morrison R F, Priest B H. 2009. Detecting impacts of sand grains with a microphone system in field conditions. Geomorphology, 105: 87–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fryrear D W. 1986. A field dust sampler. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 41: 117–120.Google Scholar
  12. Fryrear D W. 1991. Soil losses by wind erosion. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 59: 668–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fryrear D W, Saleh A. 1993. Field wind erosion: vertical distribution. Soil Science, 155: 294–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gillette D A, Fryrear D W, Xiao J B, et al. 1997. Large-scale variability of wind erosion mass flux rates at Owens Lake: I. Vertical profiles of horizontal mass fluxes of wind-eroded particles with diameter greater than 50 μm. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 102: 25977–25987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jackson D W T. 1996. A new instantaneous aeolian sand trap design for field use. Sedimentology, 43: 791–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kawamura R. 1951. Study on sand movement by wind. Report of Institution of Science and Technology. Tokyo: University of Tokyo.Google Scholar
  17. Liu T S. 2009. Loess and Arid Environment. Hefei: Anhui Science and Technology Press.Google Scholar
  18. McTainsh G, Strong C. 2007. The role of aeolian dust in ecosystems. Geomorphology, 89: 39–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nickling W G. 1978. Eolian sediment transport during dust storms: Slims River Valley, Yukon Territory. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 15: 1069–1084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Qian Z A, Song M H, Li W Y. 2002. Analyses on distributive variation and forecast of sand-dust storms in recent 50 years in North China. Journal of Desert Research, 2: 106–111.Google Scholar
  21. Sensit Company. 2007. Technical Description for the New Model H11-LIN. Portland: Sensit Company, 13–14.Google Scholar
  22. Shao Y, McTainsh G H, Leys J F. 1993. Efficiency of sediment samplers for wind erosion measurement. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 31(4): 519–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Stout J E. 1989. Performance of a windblown-particle sampler. Transactions of the ASAE, 32(6): 2041–2045.Google Scholar
  24. Stout J E, Warren A, Gill T E. 2009. Publication trends in aeolian research: an analysis of the bibliography of aeolian research. Geomorphology, 105: 6–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sun J M, Liu T S. 2006. The age of the Taklimakan Desert. Science, 312: 1621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Udo K. 2009. New method for estimation of aeolian sand transport rate using ceramic sand flux sensor (UD-101). Sensors, 9: 9058–9072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Van-donk S J, Huang X, Skidmoren E L, et al. 2003. Wind erosion from military training lands in the Mojave Desert, California, USA. Journal of Arid Environments, 54: 687–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Vories E D, Fryrear D W. 1991. Vertical distribution of wind-eroded soil over a smooth, bare field. Transactions of the ASAE, 34(4): 1763–1768.Google Scholar
  29. Wang S G, Dong G R, Chen H Z, et al. 2000. Advances in studying sand-dust storms of China. Journal of Desert Research, 4: 349–356.Google Scholar
  30. Wang X, Ma Y, Chen H W, et al. 2003. Analysis on the climatic characteristics of sandstorms in south Xinjiang. Journal of Desert Research, 2: 147–151.Google Scholar
  31. Wang T. 2011. Sand control project in China. Beijing: Science Press, 86–93.Google Scholar
  32. Zhang Z C, Dong Z B, Zhao A G. 2011. The characteristics of aeoliansediment flux profiles in the south-eastern Tengger Desert. Sedimentology, 58: 1884–1894.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhao T L, Gong S L, Zang X Y, et al. 2006. A simulated climatology of Asian dust aerosol and its transpacific transport. Part I: Mean climate and validation. Journal of Climate, 19: 88–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhao X. 1993. Damages and countermeasures of catastrophic sandstorm occurred in Gansu province. Journal of Desert Research, 13: 1–7.Google Scholar
  35. Zhou Z J, Wang X W, Niu R Y. 2002. Climate characteristics of sandstorm in China in recent 47 years. Journal of Applied Meteorological Science, 2: 193–200.Google Scholar
  36. Zingg A W. 1953. Wind tunnel studies of the movement of sedimentary material. 5th Hydraulic Conference Proceedings. Iowa: Iowa Institute of Hydraulic.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • XingHua Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qing He
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mamtimin Ali
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wen Huo
    • 1
    • 2
  • XinChun Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Desert MeteorologyChina Meteorological AdministrationUrumqiChina
  2. 2.Desert Atmosphere and Environment Observation Experiment of Taklimakan StationTazhongChina

Personalised recommendations