Articles | Volume 23, issue 10
30 Nov 2005
 | 30 Nov 2005

Wind tunnel experiments on the effects of tillage ridge features on wind erosion horizontal fluxes

M. Kardous, G. Bergametti, and B. Marticorena

Abstract. In addition to the well-known soil factors which control wind erosion on flat, unridged surfaces, two specific processes affect the susceptibility of tillage ridged surfaces to wind erosion: ridge-induced roughness and ridge- trapping efficiency.

In order to parameterize horizontal soil fluxes produced by wind over tillage ridges, eight-ridge configurations composed of sandy soil and exhibiting ridge heights to ridge spacing (RH/RS) ratios ranging from 0.18 to 0.38 were experimented in a wind tunnel. These experiments are used to develop a parameterization of the horizontal fluxes over tillage ridged surfaces based only on the geometric characteristics of the ridges. Indeed, the key parameters controlling the horizontal flux, namely the friction velocity, threshold friction velocity and the adjustment coefficient, are derived through specific expressions, from ridge heights (RH) and ridge spacing (RS). This parameterization was evaluated by comparing the results of the simulations to an additional experimental data set and to the data set obtained by Hagen and Armbrust (1992). In both cases, predicted and measured values are found to be in a satisfying agreement.

This parameterization was used to evaluate the efficiency of ridges in reducing wind erosion. The results show that ridged surfaces, when compared to a loose, unridged soil surface, lead to an important reduction in the horizontal fluxes (exceeding 60%). Moreover, the effect of ridges in trapping particles contributes for more than 90% in the flux reduction while the ridge roughness effect is weak and decreases when the wind velocity increases.