Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2015, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (6): 675-686.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00675

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Vertical distribution of soil moisture and surface sandy soil wind erosion for different types of sand dune on the southeastern margin of the Mu Us Sandy Land, China

ChaoFeng Fu1,2, JingBo Zhao2, FanMin Mei3, TianJie Shao2, Jun Zuo1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Western Mineral Resources and Geological Engineering, Ministry of Education of China & Chang'an University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710054, China;
    2. College of Tourism and Environment Science, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710062, China;
    3. Environmental and Chemical Engineering College, Xi'an Polytechnic University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710048, China
  • Received:2015-04-17 Revised:2015-07-09 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: ChaoFeng Fu
  • Supported by:
    The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41140028, 41340043), and the Central University Research Foundation, Chang'an University (310827152014) and the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology (SKLLQG).

Abstract: Soil moisture is a critical state affecting a variety of land surface and subsurface processes. We report investigation results of the factors controlling vertical variation of soil moisture and sand transport rate of three types of dunes on the southeastern margin of the Mu Us Sandy Land. Samples were taken from holes drilled to a depth of 4 m at different topographic sites on the dunes, and were analyzed for soil moisture, grain-size distribution and surface sediment discharge. The results show that: (1) The average soil moisture varies in different types of dunes, with the following sequences ordered from highest to lowest: in the shrubs-covered dunes and the trees-covered dunes the sequence is from inter-dunes lowland to windward slope to leeward slope. The average moisture in the bare-migratory sand dunes is sequenced from inter-dunes lowland to leeward slope to windward slope. (2) Vegetation form and surface coverage affect the range of soil moisture of different types of dunes in the same topographic position. The coefficient of variation of soil moisture for shrubs-covered dunes is higher than that of other types of dune. (3) The effect of shrubs on dune soil moisture is explained in terms of the greater ability of shrubs to trap fine-grained atmospheric dust and hold moisture. (4) The estimated sand transport rates over sand dunes with sparse shrubs are less than those over bare-migratory dunes or sand dunes with sparse trees, indicating that shrubs are more effective in inhibiting wind erosion in the sandy land area.

Key words: soil moisture, surface sandy soil wind erosion, vegetation form, micro-geomorphology, sand dunes, desertification control

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