Advertisement

Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 333–350 | Cite as

Activity of Wind-Blown Sand and the Formation of Feathered Sand Ridges in the Kumtagh Desert, China

  • Kongtai LiaoEmail author
  • Jianjun Qu
  • Jinnian Tang
  • Feng Ding
  • Hujun Liu
  • Shujuan Zhu
Article

Abstract

We study the activity of wind-blown sand and its effects on the evolution of feathered sand ridges in the Kumtagh Desert, China, and attempt to reveal the formation process of feathered sand ridges using wind-tunnel experiments, remote sensing data, and detailed field observations from 2005 to 2008. The prevailing wind direction in the Kumtagh Desert is easterly in winter and north-easterly in other seasons. The average annual wind speed is 5.9 ms−1, and winds sufficiently strong to entrain sand occur on 143 days per annum. The sand transport rate within 0.4 m of the ground is strongly influenced by local landforms, and is related to wind speed by a power function. Wind erosion occurs on the crest, the windward slope of crescent sand ridges and inter-ridge sand strips, where the blowing sand cloud is in an unsaturated state; in contrast, sand accumulation occurs on the leeward slope of the crescent sand ridges, where the blowing sand cloud is in an over-saturated state. These results indicate that the development of feathered sand ridges in the Kumtagh Desert is mainly controlled by the local wind regime. The dominant winds (from the north, north-north-east and north-east) and additional winds (from the east-north-east, east and east-south-east) determine the development of crescent sand ridges, but winds that are approximately parallel to sand ridges form the secondary inter-ridge sand strips.

Keywords

Aeolian geomorphology Blown sand transport Dune evolution Feathered sand ridges 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andreas CW (2007) Complex systems in aeolian geomorphology. Geomorphology 91: 311–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andreotti B, Claudin P, Pouliquen O (2006) Aeolian sand ripples: experimental evidence of fully developed states. Phys Rev Lett 96: 028001–4Google Scholar
  3. Bagnold RA (1941) The physics of blown sand and desert dunes. Chapman & Hall, London, p 136Google Scholar
  4. Callot Y (2007) Formations éoliennes: Dynamique éolienne et formations éoliennes en domaine aride et semi-aride. In: Dewolf Y, Bourrié G (eds) Les formations superficielles. Ellipses, Paris, pp 293–317Google Scholar
  5. Dong ZB, Sun HY, Zhao AG (2004) WITSEG sampler: a segmented sand sampler for wind tunnel test. Geomorphology 59: 119–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dong ZB, Qu JJ, Wang XM, Qian GQ, Luo WY, Wei ZH (2008) Pseudo-feathery dunes in the Kumtagh Desert. Geomorphology. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.01.004
  7. Edwin DM (1979) A study of global sand seas. University Press of Pacific, Honolulu, p 215Google Scholar
  8. Elbelrhiti H, Claudin P, Andreotti B (2005) Field evidence for surface-wave-induced instability of sand dunes. Nature 437: 720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Han ZW, Dong ZB, Wang T, Chen GT, Yan CZ, Yao ZY (2003) Pattern of wind-blown sand activities in Taklimakan desert. Sci China Ser D 33: 255–263Google Scholar
  10. Hesp PA, Hyde R, Hesp V, Zheng YQ (1989) Longitudinal dunes can move sideways. Earth Surf Process Landf 14: 447–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kar A (1993) Aeolian processes and bedforms in the Thar Desert. J Arid Environ 25: 83–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lancaster N (1982) Linear dune. Prog Phys Geogr 6: 151–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lancaster N (1985) Winds and sand movements in the Namib Sand Sea. Earth Surf Process Landf 10: 607–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lancaster N (1995) Geomorphology of desert dunes. Routledge, London, p 279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lancaster N, Nickling WG, McKenna-Neuman CK, Wyatt VE (1996) Sediment flux and airflow on the stoss slope of a barchan dune. Geomorphology 17: 55–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li ZS, Chen GT, Dong ZB, Feng Q (1998) Grain size parameters along the transaction of a complex longitudinal dune in the center of Taklimakan Desert. J Arid Land Resour Environ 12(1): 21–28Google Scholar
  17. Mabbutt JA (1968) Aeolian landforms in central Australia. J Aust Geogr Stud 6: 139–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McKenna-Neuman C, Lancaster N, Nickling WG (1997) Relations between dune morphology, air flow, and sediment flux on reversing dunes, Silver Peak, Nevada. Sedimentology 44: 1103–1113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Qu JJ, Zuo GC, Zhang KC, Zu RP, Fang HY (2004) Relationship between the formation and evolution of Kumtag Desert and the regional neotectonic movement. Arid Land Geogr 28: 424–428Google Scholar
  20. Qu JJ, Huang N, Ta WQ, Lei JQ, Dong ZB, Liu XW, Xue X, Zu RP, Zhang KC (2005) Structural characteristics of Gobi sand-drift and its significance. Adv Earth Sci 20(1): 19–23Google Scholar
  21. Qu JJ, Liao KT, Zu RP, Xia XC, Jin ZF (2007) Study on the formation mechanism of feather-shaped sand ridge in Kumtag desert. J Desert Res 27: 349–355Google Scholar
  22. Tsoar H (1983) Dynamic processes acting on a longitudinal dune. Sedimentology 30: 567–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tsoar H (1984) The formation of seif dune from barchans-a discussion. Z Geomorphol 28: 99–103Google Scholar
  24. Tsoar H, Moller TJ (1986) The role of vegetation in the formation of linear sand dune. In: Nickling WG (eds) Aeolian geomorphology. Allen and Unuin, Boston, pp 164–182Google Scholar
  25. Walmsley JL, Taylor PA, Salmon JR (1989) Simple guidelines for estimating wind speed variations due to small-scale topographic features—an update. Climatol Bull 23(1): 3–14Google Scholar
  26. Wang T (2003) Deserts and desertification in China. Hebei Science and Technology Press, Shijiazhuang, pp, pp 689–698Google Scholar
  27. Wang XM, Dong ZB, Zhang JW, Zhao AG (2002) Relations between morphology, air flow, sand flux and particle size on transverse dunes, Taklimakan Sand Sea, China. Earth Surf Process Landf 27: 515–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wang JH, Liao KT, Er Y, Su ZZ, Zhai XW, Liu HJ, Tang JJ (2005) Initial outcome of integrated study in Kumtag Desert. Gansu Sci Technol 21: 6–11Google Scholar
  29. Wiggs GFS, Livingstone I, Warren A (1996) The role of streamline curvature in sand dune dynamics: evidence from field and wind tunnel measurements. Geomorphology 17: 29–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wu Z (2003) Geomorphology of wind-drift sands and their controlled engineering. Science Press, Beijing, pp pp 139–165Google Scholar
  31. Xia XC, Fan ZL (1987) The elementary characteristics of Kumtag desert. In: The sciences investigation and study on Lop Nor. Science Press, Beijing, pp 78–88Google Scholar
  32. Zhang JC, Wang JH, Zhao M, Liao KT, Liu HJ (2005) Investigation and research of natural vegetation in southeast edge of Kumtag desert. J Desert Res 25: 375–382Google Scholar
  33. Zhang JC, Wang JH, Zhao M, Liu HJ, Liao KT, Xu XY (2006) Plant community and species diversity in the south fringe of Kumtag desert. J Plant Ecol (formerly Acta Phytoecol Sin) 30: 375–382Google Scholar
  34. Zhu ZD, Wu Z, liu S, Di XM (1980) Deserts in China Desert. Science Press, Beijing, pp pp 45–46Google Scholar
  35. Zou XY, Dong GR, Wang ZL (1995) A study on some characteristics of drifting sand flux over Gobi. J Desert Res 15: 368–373Google Scholar
  36. Zu RP, Zhang KC, Qu JJ (2005) The intensity of sand-drift activities in Taklimakan Desert. Geogr Res 24: 699–707Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kongtai Liao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jianjun Qu
    • 1
  • Jinnian Tang
    • 2
  • Feng Ding
    • 2
  • Hujun Liu
    • 2
  • Shujuan Zhu
    • 2
  1. 1.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Gansu Desert Control Research InstituteWuweiPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations